Thebans prepare for 2019 Union Cup
Scotland’s leading gay-inclusive rugby club, the Caledonian Thebans RFC, are preparing for Europe’s biggest ever LGBT-inclusive rugby competition - the 2019 Union Cup.
The players of the Sacred Band were presented with their new kit and received messages of encouragement at their kit launch held at Scotland's national stadium, BT Murrayfield.
The tournament will be the first outing for the new kit which was designed and chosen by members of the Thebans in a democratic vote.
They were joined by representatives from the team’s sponsors, including lead sponsor Aberdeen Standard Investments who presented the kit to the players, as well by representatives from Scottish Rugby and supporters of the club.
Scottish Rugby Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie MBE has also given the Thebans support on behalf of Scottish Rugby and praised the growth and quality of inclusive rugby in Scotland.
Taking place 7-9 June in Dublin, Ireland, the Union Cup is Europe’s largest LGBT-inclusive rugby competition and provides with the 2019 competition expected to be the biggest in the events history with 45 teams from 15 countries expected to take part.
This year’s Union Cup is one of several key events ahead of a busy year for the Thebans which includes the return of their highly successful Boot Camp, aimed at introducing LGBT people to the sport, and others throughout the year.
Caledonian Thebans RFC Chairman, Luke Fenton, said:
“Every one of the players in our Sacred Band has put in a tonne of effort to get ready for this year’s Union Cup in Dublin. “We’ve put in hours and hours of training and so to have that recognised by our great sponsors and by Scottish Rugby at the national stadium is wonderful. “Thanks to the support of those who have made this possible and our national rugby organisation, we’re confident that we can go over to Dublin with confidence.” “Make no mistake, the Thebans are Union Cup ready.”
Scottish Rugby Director of Rugby Development, Sheila Begbie MBE, added:
“We’re delighted to be supporting the Thebans as they head to Dublin for the 2019 Union Cup.
Their new kit looks great, and we were only too happy to host the evening in our Up and Under Bar at BT Murrayfield. “In the east we have the Thebans as well as the Alphas in the west and now a newly formed LBGT team in Aberdeen, with Scottish Rugby continuing to support all forms of inclusive rugby.
“We look forward to working with the Thebans in the future and wish them all the best in their quest for the Union Cup.”
Ever since they formed in 2002, the Caledonian Thebans have proved that sport is a true equaliser.
Since then, the team has continued to grow and be proud and consistent advocates for equality and fairness in sport.
Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, Joe FitzPatrick, said:
“I would like to wish all the players, coaches and supporters associated with the Thebans well as they travel to Dublin to represent Scotland at the Union Cup.
The Thebans are a fantastic inclusive club and bring people of all backgrounds together to enjoy and celebrate the sport of rugby.
“I am sure the competition on the field will be played in the right spirit, and once the final whistle has gone, there will be the chance to meet with friends and enjoy the social element of playing sport.”