Halloween Training raises £300 for Youth Charity.

Our Union & O2 Touch Squads unite to raise money at Halloween training sessions.

Manchester Village Spartans’ Union and O2 Touch squads joined forces on Saturday to raise funds for Mermaids, an incredible charity that has been supporting trans and gender-diverse children, young people and their families since 1995.

Whilst maintaining strict Covid-19 training rules, the multiple squads combined their training session times and used the Saturday morning run-out as an opportunity to put on some Halloween Fancy Dress, donate to the charity on arrival at our Sale Sports Club training pitches and managed to create a visual feast for the eye up and down the field.

Speaking of why the club decided to use the Halloween date as an opportunity to raise money for the charity, Gareth Longley, Chair of #MVSRUFC said, “Spartans have a quite a reputation across the IGR community for their Monday Fancy Dress tradition on tours such as the Union Cup and Bingham and with all the negativity around the World Rugby laws impacting the transgender community, the impact of covid on those tours and on our players, we thought we should try and bring back some fun, put our money where our mouths are, and do some good for a charity that does such an amazing job supporting young people and their families.”

Noah Donnelly, one of the most recent members to join the Spartans shared his important message at the session. 

“I’ve loved rugby since I was a child  but have avoided joining a club for all of my adult life due to fear of how I would be treated if anyone found out that I was transgender. Now at 29, I decided to join the Spartans because of the message of inclusivity and the support for trans players that was shown on social media. Since beginning training I’ve never been treated differently and the Halloween fancy dress event to raise money for Mermaids empowered me in a way that all transgender people should be empowered. Never underestimate the importance of being treated as an equal after becoming used to being treated as an outsider.”  

Noah added, “The Spartans have taken away all of that fear and worry. With each session it becomes clearer and clearer that the club understands that trans men are men and trans women are women and that all people deserve to play the sport they love.   

With money still coming in, the treasurer of the club (and 2XV Union Coach) has already confirmed that over £300 has been raised so far, which shall be sent to Mermaids at the earliest opportunity.  

Check out our video and some of the photos from the session below.

You can read Stonewall’s Trans Report as part of their LGBT in Britain insights here.


Thanks to our friends at Bar Pop, the following players have won £25 tabs to share behind the bar for their incredible outfits.

1XV – Chris and AJ for their Game of Thrones hommage.

2XV – Morgan for his Wario 

02 Touch – Dan and Peter for their Mario and Luigi

Newbies – Bobby J for his Lifeguard

If you’d like to make a small donation to Mermaids, you can do so quickly and easily, via PayPal at https://paypal.me/villagespartans or by scanning the QR code below and we’ll add it to the funds we’ll be sending over to them.

Covid-19 means that many outdoor activities are prohibited (unlike our Stage-D rugby training) but you can raise funds for Mermaids with virtual fundraisers – more info here.


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