World Rugby signs historic agreement with International Gay Rugby

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World Rugby signs historic agreement with International Gay Rugby

World Rugby and International Gay Rugby (IGR) have signed an historic agreement to collaborate on the continued promotion of equality and inclusivity in rugby.
The agreement, signed at World Rugby House in Dublin this week, outlines a commitment between the two organisations to work together to educate and eliminate homophobia in rugby.

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, World Rugby and IGR recognise and respect:

• the right of any player, official and spectator to be involved with rugby without discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or identification
• the common goal of inclusion and the elimination of homophobia in rugby

World Rugby and IGR will consult on issues of importance to members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and the game of rugby by:

• developing a positive and mutually beneficial relationship based on a sense of shared purpose
• working with regional associations and member unions to improve tolerance and acceptance of LGBT players at all levels within rugby union
• providing educational tools to World Rugby member unions to support in the elimination of homophobia in rugby
• supporting the promotion and development of IGR’s events

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby is an inclusive sport which has at its heart character-building values of passion, integrity, solidarity, respect and discipline. The signing of this historic agreement underscores our commitment to those values and our strategic vision – a game for all, true to its values.

“We look forward to collaborating with International Gay Rugby to promote inclusivity, equality and friendship as rugby continues to reach out, engage and inspire more men, women and children than ever before.”

International Gay Rugby Chairman Jeff Wilson said: “This is a momentous occasion for LGBT athletes, supporters, officials and administrators and the people who support them in the game of rugby. World Rugby is a trail-blazer as a global governing body in committing to actively eliminate homophobia from any sport. We are committed to partnering with World Rugby to continue our work of making rugby the most inclusive and tolerant sport in the world.

“The bold step by World Rugby to commit to these shared purposes with IGR reflects the character-building values that are important to us all in the sport. Hopefully, other sporting governing bodies can look to World Rugby as a role model and follow suit.”

Picture: Jeff Wilson, IGR Chairman (left) & Bernard Lapasset, World Rugby Chairman (right)

About IGR: IGR is International Gay Rugby – an organisation of 53 member clubs in 15 countries of primarily gay and inclusive rugby clubs. IGR is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered in England and Wales with its registered office at 71 Holland Road, West Ham, London, E15 3BP, England, United Kingdom (Charity Number – 1154241).IGR and its member clubs celebrate a sense of community through the organisation and coordination of events such as the Bingham Cup, the Union Cup, Magnitude 15s, and other local and regional tournaments. IGR provides member clubs with development support and resources in the areas of club organisation, recruitment, retention, fundraising, event management, and, regional and national union relations. We are an Associate Member of the Federation of Gay Games and we are recognised by World Rugby as the representative LGBT organisation.

IGR’s charitable objectives are as follows: 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 both for the public benefit by: providing opportunities for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community (LGBT) to compete in rugby through tolerant and accepting clubs and teams, both primarily LGBT and LGBT-friendly and by eliminating homophobia in rugby through community outreach, competitive play and tournament events that stand for tolerance and acceptance in sports; and working with the rugby governing bodies and other partner organisations worldwide to improve tolerance and acceptance of LGBT athletes at all levels of the sport of rugby ensuring that no individual shall be excluded from participating in rugby on the basis of sexual orientation or identification.

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