Mitcham & Carshalton Rugby Club are delighted to confirm that they have been granted Affiliate Membership of the IGR (International Gay Rugby), the first club in England to receive it.
Affiliate membership is the mechanism by which a community rugby club can register it’s support for the aims and goals of the inclusive rugby community, and as a result be granted non-voting membership.
Mitcham’s Director of Rugby Edward Marsh expressed his delight with the decision. "This is another step in creating a club that is welcoming to all, open to all, offering Rugby for all. We will never stop the pursuit of excellence on and off the pitch as we continue to grow, this association is another important milestone on that journey."
In 2020, the club welcomed gay & inclusive side, the London Stags to the club, who share the club’s facilities as well as a number of players who now train for both sides. Michael Smith, Chairman of the London Stags added “We’re thrilled that M&C have become an affiliate member of the IGR. M&C welcomed us into their rugby home and family. It feels very apt that they have joined ours too!”.
Before the pandemic caused the several nationwide lockdown, the club had planned to host London Pride 7s. This will be a first of its kind tournament in South London, looking to champion inclusive rugby, with clubs around the country travelling to take part. This was unfortunately postponed, but the club is optimistic that it will take place this year once it is safe to do so.
"The health and wellbeing of players is paramount, and we will continue to follow the guidance laid out by the RFU and the Government. We are still hugely optimistic that we will be able to host London Pride 7s at Mitcham & Carshalton in 2021” said Mitcham & Carshalton Chairman, Keir Waller. “Being able to host an inaugural inclusive rugby Tournament and to become be an affiliate member of the IGR is such a privilege and we’re very keen to make this event a long-term event on everyone’s calendar. The club has progressed so much in the last few years and it’s fantastic that we’re able to champion inclusive rugby.”