Harlequins are delighted to agree an official partnership with the Kings Cross Steelers RFC, the world’s first gay-inclusive rugby union club. The Steelers will become Harlequins’ first Official Inclusion Partner Club.
The agreement follows 4 successful years working together to promote inclusivity, with the Steelers playing an integral role in the Club’s annual LGBTQ+ Pride celebration matches, and LGBTQ+ Pride Inclusion Conferences.
The partnership was announced at the 2nd annual LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Sport Conference, which the Club hosted at The Stoop, with over 100 invited guests from across rugby and sport coming together to discuss how to increase inclusion and diversity in sport. The following day the Club will deliver the 4th annual LGBTQ+ Pride themed matchday, as Harlequins take on Newcastle Falcons at The Stoop in the Gallagher Premiership. The Club are the only professional club to deliver this type of event.
Harlequins CEO, Laurie Dalrymple said: “We are delighted to formalise what has been an excellent working relationship with the Steelers over the last 4 years. We pride ourselves on being a club for all, where everyone coming to The Stoop should feel is a safe space, and they are able to be themselves. We see the Steelers as representative of this this too, acting as trailblazers in our sport for the LGBTQ+ community. We look forward to working together in coming years to help develop our clubs and our sport to help grow our audiences and ensure our sport is welcoming for all”.
Eden Hannam, Chair Kings Cross Steelers RFC said: “The Kings Cross Steelers RFC are proud to be formalising our partnership with Harlequins. Over the last 28 years, the Steelers have been leaders in inclusion for gay and bisexual people in rugby. This has included working with other leaders like Pride In Touch and the East London RFC Vixens to broaden our mission to include all members of the LGBTQ+ community in rugby”.
“We have been proud to collaborate with Harlequins, who over the last 4 years have provided leadership to drive inclusion in both professional rugby and at the grass roots. Formalising our relationship into a partnership helps both our clubs grow and improve rugby as a sport, on and off the pitch. We look forward to our journey continuing together”.
The partnership will see the clubs collaborate on a range of initiatives to help promote inclusivity across grassroots and professional rugby, including sharing technical advice, coaching support and staff / player training. Harlequins will also offer promotional support to aid the Steelers around their bid to retain the Bingham Cup in Rome 2024 – the biennial World Championship of Inclusive Rugby.