Cardiff Lions tackle inequality in sports

Cardiff Lions. Photo: CNP

Cardiff Lions. Photo: CNP

An all inclusive gay rugby team offers a safe environment where people across Wales can join and express themselves freely.

Cardiff Lions were formed in 2004 and this March they celebrated their twelve year anniversary. They are playing matches around the UK and in 2017 they are going to participate on the Union Cup, the European Gay Rugby Tournament in Madrid. But, what makes them stand out is their purpose.

Equality in sports: Reality or fiction?

Rugby is predominantly considered as a “masculine” sport where players must be well-built and ready to endure physical and psychological pressure. And that’s where Cardiff Lions come to fill the gap.

By challenging traditional stereotypes they give the opportunity to everybody to join the team. Sexual orientation is not important and the same applies to rugby skills.

Gareth Waters, Head Coach believes that “stereotypes don’t exist and it’s more of a brotherhood for us. People coming together, train together, play rugby together, go out for drinks together.”

“What our team brings to the community is a portal where everyone can meet new people from different backgrounds and get involved in physical activity”, he adds.

Cardiff Lions. Photo: CNP

Cardiff Lions. Photo: CNP

The friendly environment also welcomes people who got bullied or stopped playing rugby in their teenage years, but now they want to start over and get involved.

Joseph Ali, who is 18 and the youngest member of the team, used to play rugby in high school but stopped when he came to ”terms” with himself.

“When I found out about the Lions I explained my interest and they invited me along. The team grants people a safe environment, because bullying exists in sports and especially┬árugby which is so masculine. So it gives the opportunity to people who aren’t so typically like that to play”, Ali explains.

Camera work/editing: Christina Angelidou

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.