Meet Sheffield's all-inclusive rugby team breaking new ground
While summer recruitment might well have beenÂ quiet for Sheffield's football teams as the countdown to the new season continues, that certainly hasn't been the case for the city's newest rugby team.
Sheffield Vulcans rugby union club was only set up last August and has a squad of around 16 players - a number which could double following 'fantastic' support at Sheffield Pride at the weekend.
The team train in Endcliffe Park and aims to offer players of any age, ability and experience the chance to try the sport in a friendly and supportive environment, whatever their sexual orientation.
Michael Hudson, Vulcans' PR and communications officer, said: "The club is predominantly aimed at gay and bisexual men. A lot are hesitant to get involved in team sport because of the 'lad culture' but rugby is one of the most progressive sports and it's one of very few sports to have openly gay players.
"We have straight members, gay members, and bisexual members - it is totally open to anyone who wants to give rugby a go."
Michael, who moved to Sheffield from Cambridge for university in 2011 and has stayed since, said the club was set up last year after other all-inclusive teams gathered support and interest at Sheffield Pride 2017.
He said: "In less than a year we have gone from not existing to having 16 regular members, had three matches and have regular training once or twice a week.
"Our first season was so successful that we're really looking forward to next year. We have not really got our own home yet, we are just in the process of sorting out where we can play for next season."
The Vulcans have games scheduled against Newcastle, Chester and Swansea - with all-inclusive teams based across the country from Brighton to Edinburgh."
Michael said the club had also had interest from a number of women at Sheffield Pride who wanted to get involved in rugby too.
He added: "We had a really fantastic response at Pride. We didn't really know what to expect because we didn't exist last year but we were blown away by the amount of support we had.
"We had a steady stream of people through the day and despite the rain it was a good response. We had around 60 people sign up to register their interest and even if only half of them sign up that will more than double the number of team members."
For more information about joining the Sheffield Vulcans, visit www.sheffieldvulcans.com or search for the club on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.