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Kings Cross Steelers promoting inclusivity through rugby

Copyrights: Beyond Sport

Kings Cross Steelers promoting inclusivity through rugby

The Kings Cross Steelers is a rugby club in London paving the way for inclusive sport. We hear from a member of the club on the role that the sport and the club has played for him.

Sport is an activity that forms bonds unlike any other, and for Tim Thornton of Bermondsey, South London, it helped him find his place in the LGBT community. Tim and his partner Alex play for the Kings Cross Steelers, the world's first and oldest – 24 years – gay-inclusive rugby union club.

Having experienced the fears and worries of joining a typical and mainstream sports club, Tim expressed how an LGBT person might feel when thinking of joining a sport, team or league. As he told My London, "I wasn't 'one of the lads' as you might say. I think particularly with rugby it can be highly aggressive, it can be quite an intimidating environment for everyone, but especially for guys and girls coming to terms with their sexuality or gender identity."

The Steelers refer to themselves as a "friendly environment off the pitch and a competitive and inclusive environment on the pitch" and the community feel that Tim experienced there has transferred to his off the pitch experiences. He said that participating in inclusive rugby allowed him to build the confidence and skills to help lead his workplace LGBT network – a network focused on uniting everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity.

His goal is to set up an Allied network, which allows for LGBT employees and beyond to find support in the office. "My involvement in LGBT has always been around sport or general society so doing something in the corporate world has been interesting,” he said.


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Lucy Skoulding


Monday, July 15, 2019 - 10:45