AN inclusive and welcoming rugby club considered to be the very first of its kind in East Anglia has landed a huge sponsorship deal.

Colchester Kings RFC, which was established in June of this year following a series of taster sessions, strives to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in rugby.

Based at Raven Park, in Cuckoo Farm Way, Colchester, the barrier-breaking club is described as being “the first gay and inclusive rugby team” in the area.

Despite its relatively short lifespan, Colchester Kings RFC has now secured the backing of Openreach, the country’s largest wholesale broadband network provider.

Sam Biscoe, who is the chair of the rugby club, said: “We’re thrilled Openreach has chosen to support our team. 

“We know that it will be a really positive relationship and we look forward to working closely on different ways to promote diversity and inclusion in sport.”

The company, which is used to line speeds and trucks and trailers of a different kind, jumped at the opportunity to get involved with support from its internal Pride network.

As a result, the team will now head onto pitches throughout the area wearing an Openreach-branded kit, starting with their match against Thurrock RFC on Saturday.

Scott Room, director of brand, marketing and digital for Openreach said, “We’re proud to sponsor Colchester Kings RFC in its first year. 

“At Openreach, we’re on a journey to becoming a more diverse business that truly reflects the communities we serve all over the UK.

“Historically, telecoms engineering hasn’t been the most diverse industry,

“But we’re determined to help change that by being open to everyone and using our people networks to help us identify and break down barriers to inclusion.

“We know how powerful sport can be in promoting diversity and togetherness and, whilst it’s easy to talk about this stuff, what’s really required is action.

“This sponsorship is just one of the ways we want to help communities in a meaningful way and we wish the Colchester Kings all the best for the season.”

Colchester Kings RFC is actively recruiting more members and all levels of experience are welcome to join regardless of age, size or sexuality.

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