Rugby against racism

My name is Callum Bell, I am a student and rugby player who like many of my fellow members of the rugby community, believe that our sport needs to feel more inclusive for the BAME. I think rugby as a sport transcends all races, religions and backgrounds and I want to do something to support this belief.

The Rugby Against Racism initiative’s goal is to promote rugby in the BAME communities across Scotland. To do this, we are selling “Rugby Against Racism” branded bootlaces, with 100% of the profits being used to fund rugby inclusion projects.

If you would like to donate, click the button below:

With the support of CEMVO Scotland and Scottish rugby, the goal of the Rugby Against Racism initiative is to use the funds raised from selling the awareness laces, to help fund brand new initiatives that aim to increase the number of BAME rugby players and coaches and hopefully impact some real and sustainable change with regards to rugby and the Black and Minority Ethnic communities in Scotland.

Captain Helen Nelson and Liz Musgrove amongst the Scotland players wearing our laces in their 27-20 6 nations win over Wales.

Strategic Partners and Ambassadors:

“I think before, I would shy away from the topic of equality and try to ignore casual racism etc. However, I am proud of who I am and I feel like Rugby Against Racism is the way for forward as a pathway for rugby players who want to speak out and help encourage equality in our sport. I feel just as rugby is for everyone from the props to the back three, we are all part of one team and that should not be any different off the pitch. I feel that people should be comfortable talking about their issues with their teammates with racism being an important one.” - Aaron Purewal, Richmond RFC

“I wanted to be involved with the Rugby Against Racism initiative because rugby, within the rugby community is seen as a sport for people from all walks of life, however from those outwith our sport’s community, the sport is still seen as only for white and privileged people. The ethnic diversity in the game across all levels is lacking severely. I’m looking forward to the new initiative to get more people from the BAME community into our sport.” - Murray McCallum, Edinburgh Rugby

“I wanted Boroughmuir to get involved with the Rugby Against Racism initiative because rugby is a game for everyone, no matter race, creed or colour.

We have the players from the BAME communities in the club and encouraging players from all backgrounds to play, making our game more inclusive, can only be great thing. We want to make a stand against racism within sport and to support the guys we stand shoulder to shoulder with on the pitch.”

- Gavin Welsh, Boroughmuir Rugby

“I have had a handful of incidents where I have been a victim of race issues, the issues themselves varied widely.

Some I brushed off with a smile and a joke, some were too big to ignore, what they have in common though is that the people around me took offence and the perpetrator was told that their behaviour was unacceptable.

I wish RAR can become that tool that shows a younger me or indeed any kid out there who might feel different that rugby is a family and even though it's not without its issues because humans will be humans, there are people that will have your back, while bringing awareness to the issues that we face so they will one day be eradicated.”

- Aubrey Mncube, Boroughmuir Rugby

“CEMVO Scotland being an intermediary partner of the Scottish Government is happy to support the laces initiative. We feel this is a great initiative as it will allow the opportunity to raise funds that will be utilised to develop positive action initiative/s in terms of engaging with minority ethnic communities to identify perceived barriers to participating in SRU activities.
CEMVO Scotland welcomes the opportunity to work and support SRU to become a more inclusive organisation to reflect Scottish society of today”

CEMVO Scotland is a national intermediary organisation and strategic partner of the Scottish Government Equality Unit.

Why is the Rugby Against Racism initiative important?

Here in Scotland, many steps have been taken to ensure rugby is accessible and inclusive – but we shouldn’t stop there, and we should continue to ask, “are we doing enough”?

In light of the recent spotlight on racial inequality it is clear that we can all do more to promote equality and inclusivity. Rugby is a sport open to all and this initiative serves to promote that message and help to knock down any perceived barriers between people from the BAME community and our sport.

How will we make a difference?

100% of the profits from the laces will go towards rugby equality initiatives here in Scotland. It is easy to make statements about equality we want to do more. If we want to see a more diverse range of people playing, coaching, and organising our sport we must start at the grassroots. Rugby Against Racism will use the funds raised to make a difference we will:

  • Run rugby engagement and taster sessions within BAME communities. We will partner with CEMVO Scotland, Scottish Rugby, and local rugby clubs and schools to deliver sessions across Scotland.
  • Provide grants and sponsor rugby minded individuals from BAME communities to complete their coaching qualifications, or referee qualifications.

Who should wear the laces?

Any rugby player, from amateur to professional, can wear the Rugby Against Racism awareness laces, to convey their support in making our sport totally inclusive. Not only that, but the money raised from selling the laces will contribute to real and sustainable change for rugby in Scotland.

If you would like to donate, click the button below:

Want to know more about Rugby Against Racism?