Spartans Club Captain attends England Training Camp

Manchester Village Spartans’ Club Captain was invited down to Surrey earlier this week to attend the England Rugby squad’s training session – courtesy of the RFU and Honda – as a thank you for all cj_manc‘s hard work volunteering and helping us continue to grow participation in #inclusiverugby across Manchester and beyond.
Christian wrote, “The Manchester Village Spartans made a dream come true for this ol’gay. Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity but I’m going to try anyway! If I was to go back in time to visit myself as a teenager, mentally struggling to come to terms with my sexuality whilst trying to fit in with the school and local rugby teams; Feeling isolated, left out, that rugby wasn’t safe for me as a gay man… that I would one day be rewarded with a day spent with the England Rugby team and shaking hands with the players I admired from the screen, I’d never believe it… and probably mince away.
But cut to 20 years later (ouch) and I am now the Club Captain and Trainee coach of the Manchester Village Spartans. A team…no a family that welcomed me with open arms 10 years ago this year, and helped me become the confident and outgoing aspiring man I am today. I love every second of being with this team, on and off the pitch (just ask my husband who has learnt to accept my early starts on Saturdays and late nights on Wednesdays). Throughout my time with them I have taken on many roles and responsibilities – working hard to help them raise the profile of rugby in the LGBTQIA+ community and the world of sport! But most importantly, never forgetting how I felt about rugby as a teenager and promised myself to never let anyone feel that way about rugby. So whether it’s someone’s first ‘Try’ at rugby or someone returning after a break. We always want them to feel included, safe and part of the family – A Spartan family!
But thanks to the Manchester Village Spartans committee members and England Rugby along with the ‘Honda Volunteers Recognition Programme’ I was awarded with an all expenses paid trip to travel down to Pennyhill Park (London) – with an overnight stay in a glamorous hotel, then to witness the England Rugby Union Team train from the side lines and then meet them face to face! Rest assured I was like a nervous blushing teenager but they couldn’t have been more friendly and supportive of the work all the volunteers do for the RFU across the country. I even got a few cheeky hugs and pictures that I will treasure forever!
So as I sit here on the long train journey home back to Manchester with the biggest smile on my face I can’t wait to get back on the pitch and play the best sport in the world and continue to encourage others to do the same! Thank you again to Manchester Village Spartans, England Rugby and Honda.
As the Spartans look forward to celebrating their 25th Anniversary as pioneers of inclusive rugby later this year and continue their quarter-century offhand work to lower the barriers for members of the LGBT+ and local communities to participate in and enjoy our wonderful sport, we’re so proud to have been represented by Honda and the RFU and especially pleased to see that Christian had a truly brilliant couple of days.
If you want to bring your energy and skills and volunteer in some capacity off the pitch for our growing rugby union and touch club, please email as we always welcome extra pairs of hands.
If you’d like to Partner with MVSRUFC please email us for an information booklet or to discuss your objectives.