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All Inclusive Rugby Club Celebrates First Year in Wymondham

Drew Turner Published: 24 November 2023

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Rugby team photo

Iceni Rugby Football Club became the first all-inclusive rugby club in Norfolk when we were first founded back in September 2022.

Based at Wymondham Rugby Club, our team initially started out with only a few individuals, and has grown substantially in its’ first year, with regular membership now reaching over 40 people and more joining every week.

For many, the club has acted like a beacon for those in the LGBTQIA+ community who have been searching for a social way of keeping fit, but may have had reservations about pursuing a team sport.

Historically, many within the LGBTQIA+ community have had to deal with the stigma and bigotry of homophobia and transphobia when participating in sport, usually during their school years. This has fostered high levels of anxiety and shame for some and has led to many not wanting to participate in a sport at any level.

Rugby team photo

Shaun Rennie-Plume, President of Iceni RFC says: “As a founding member, I wanted the club to be a safe space in Norfolk where LGBTQIA+ people could play rugby. It was also a new way for our community to engage with one another outside of the traditional bar and club culture”.

“I would like to see the club continue to grow organically as it is, and to engage with those that need it, for both their physical and mental health needs. Playing rugby is only one side of it, we have built a fantastic community of people that probably wouldn’t normally mix in the same circles”.

This is exactly the all-inclusive message our club is using to drive an ever-increasing membership from all walks of life, with a wide spectrum of experience and ability.

Iceni RFC reiterates our unwavering support for our Transgendered family.

People playing rugby

As a team, we want to again make it clear that we fully support our trans community in all aspects of life, including access to healthcare, education and involvement in sports.

Over this past summer, the “Tribe”, as we lovingly refer to our team, hosted the ‘Pride on Pitch’ fundraiser for Norwich Pride, a rainbow and pride-inspired fancy dress touch rugby tournament Furthermore, Iceni RFC has begun to play competitively with the club fielding a team at Beach Rugby Wales in June and subsequently hosting a successful inaugural tournament titled ‘Boudica’s Battle of the Balls 2023’ in September.

A notable achievement is the Tribe’s formal induction to the IGR (International Gay Rugby), the umbrella organisation for the world's gay and inclusive rugby clubs.

Plans for the upcoming year include further competitive matches, pursuing sponsorship deals, growing our membership and building on our Iceni RFC family.

Flag of Iceni RFC

If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or an ally and want to learn some touch rugby skills and meet some wonderful people, then come along to a taster session and meet our tribe!

Follow the team and contact us via Instagram and Facebook: @iceni_rfc and @IceniRFCUK.

We train every Wednesday evening, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at Wymondham Rugby Club, followed by a social chat and drinks.

We have also started an informal training and social session on every 2nd and 4th Sunday for November to February from 11am to 12:30pm in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich.

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Read our February E‑Edition in full:

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