As preparations continue towards the 2022 Bingham Cup, the Rogues face two tough matches in seven days. This weekend, rivalries with the Coquitlam-based United RFC will be renewed as they host the Rogues for a friendly.
The Rogues then travel to Seattle next weekend to play the Seattle Quake, the Pacific Northwest’s first gay and inclusive Rugby team.
“For United, it’ll be a fun game. We know a bunch of the players and have played with them in multiple games. I think it will be a hard-fought (but friendly) game between two teams,” said Sal. “The Seattle trip will be a good jolt to our system. We only train during the weeks where we have a game on the weekend, so we are taking some much-needed breaks as well.”
Tuesday’s training session saw a core group of players put through their paces in a variety of tackling and handling drills, before Thursday’s session was washed out by the famous Vancouver rain.
“Teams like the Rogues perform double duty: by creating the physical space for queer individuals to join teams, they create the mental space for those people to express themselves.”
For some, the break has allowed extra recovery following an intense first season in BC Rugby’s Senior Leagues.
“A lot of us are tired from the season, which was the first season some of us ever played,” said Sal. “Only having training in the lead up to games makes it easier to focus and stay ready. It’s definitely been a marathon and the weariness is starting to set in. The weather hasn’t helped as most of us were excited to have training on dry pitches for once!”
While Rugby is an inclusive sport, there is still work to be done to ensure everyone feels welcome within the sport.
“Rugby players in general seem to have a lot of respect for each other as-is, so the struggle at this point wouldn’t be ingraining respect into them, but rather expanding their idea of what respect means in terms of their language and actions with queer folks,” said Sal.
Sal added: “Teams like the Rogues help to create spaces where people feel like they can be themselves. It’s not as simple as saying “well all teams can be inclusive”. The key is that it’s a dedicated space. Space is so often thought of as a physical thing, and while that’s true, it’s also a mental thing. Teams like the Rogues perform double duty: by creating the physical space for queer individuals to join teams, they create the mental space for those people to express themselves.”