Next up on our Road to the Principality series, we caught up with the Swansea Vikings ahead of their game against the Cardiff Lions.
Swansea Vikings are a Gay & Inclusive rugby team, based at Swansea Uplands RFC. Founded in May 2015, the side are now all set to take to the Principality on Monday (29th April) where they’ll face the Cardiff Lions, K.O 2:30pm
Speaking ahead of their game, Head Coach of the side Hywel James said:
“It’s absolutely brilliant for the club. We’ve come a lot closer as a club and started a campaign with the WRU to increase the publicity around International gay rugby teams like ourselves. Alongside the Cardiff Lions, it really shows that the WRU are wanting to promote equality and diversity within the game.”
The Swansea side recently competed in the International Gay Rugby Southern League, and despite making their debuts in the competition this season, the side soared their way to the top of the table, winning three games out of four. James added:
“We’ve played a few times this season, not specifically in the run up to this week-long festival. However, we have recently taken part in the International Gay Rugby Southern League, playing alongside the Lions and teams throughout southern England. We managed to top the league on 14 points, only losing the one game, but unfortunately we were runners up in the Cup Final against a tough Northampton side.”
Included in those league victories, was an emphatic 42-0 away victory over Bristol Bisons and a 25-34 win over the Wessex Wyverns.
Commenting on playing at the Principality, James Said: “For the individual members of the squad, it’s every young Welsh fan’s dream to be able to play at the home of Welsh rugby in the Principality Stadium. The honour of playing there in itself is absolutely amazing! But for the club, we always aim to provide opportunities for people of different abilities, different sexualities and backgrounds. We want to be able to bring everyone together, be in a safe environment, be themselves and play rugby and eliminate homophobia in rugby.”
Monday’s opponents are no strangers to the Swansea side, having only played them three weeks back at the beginning of April. The Vikings triumphed to a 36-3 win, but the squad know that Monday’s game will be different:
“We played them this year already. They are a very well-structured team and have definitely come along the last few years. It’ll be a nice tough match to finish off the end of the season with and one we are all looking forward to!”
The Swansea Vikings aim is to promote equality and diversity. In particular the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or identification and to promote good health through the playing of rugby.
They work to provide opportunities for members of the Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (GBT) community to compete in rugby through tolerant and accepting clubs and teams, both primarily gay and inclusive and GBT-friendly and by eliminating homophobia in rugby through community outreach, competitive play and tournament events that stand for tolerance and acceptance in sports.
Catch the squad in action on Monday 29th April at the Principality Stadium, K.O 2:30pm.