Aberdeen Taexali Rugby Club is an inclusive rugby club based in the North East of Scotland, and is one of four inclusive rugby teams in Scotland (Caledonian Thebans in Edinburgh, Dunfermline Knights in Dunfermline and Glasgow Alphas in Glasgow.
Our mission is to help break down some barriers that exist for some people who ordinarily might not get involved in rugby for whatever that reason might be, whether that be sexual orientation, race, gender, age or experience. We want to provide a safe, inclusive and active space in the sport of rugby union.
Whilst our players are predominantly LGBT+ we also have straight players who are just as much part of the team. Sexual orientation is not a barrier – we welcome anyone regardless of how they might identify.
The club was founded in by Aberdonian Bryan Sinclair and Ross Barr-Hoyland of the Leeds Hunters as a new inclusive rugby team for the North East of Scotland.
Aberdeen Taexali Rugby Club hosted its first taster session at Hazlehead Park Playing Fields on 4 November 2018, with five attendees picking up a rugby ball for the first time. Regular weekly sessions continued through the winter months.
Formation of the club with a committee appointed and constitution written.
The club marched in the Grampian Pride parade with a giant inflatable rugby ball and hosted its own stall in the Pride Village.
Chairman Bryan Sinclair and coach Grant Skene joined the Glasgow Alphas at the 2019 Union Cup in Dublin. Union Cup is Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ inclusive rugby tournament which hosted over 45 teams from 15 countries.
The club was nominated for the Community Award at the Pride Scotland Awards in Glasgow.
Due to overwhelming demand the club introduced a second midweek rugby training session which is hosted on Wednesday evenings.
Selected club members travelled down to Cardiff with the Glasgow Alphas to compete in the Enfys 7s which was hosted by the Cardiff Lions.
The club came together with organisations in the city of Aberdeen for the Celebrate Aberdeen Parade which marched down Union Street.
The club was nominated for the Community Sports Project of the Year 2019 award at the Aberdeen Sports Awards which was hosted in October at the P&J Live Arena. The club also hosted its 1st Birthday celebrations.
The club travelled down to BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh for the Caledonian Thebans’ annual rugby clinic, alongside 18 other inclusive teams from across the UK and Europe – the team played the club’s first ever friendly 10s fixtures.
Aberdeen Taexali competed in their first ever full 15s friendly match against Glasgow Alphas at Clydebank Sports Hub on Saturday 11 January – the match ended 63-5 to the hosts.
The club moved Wednesday training sessions to new facilities at Woodside Sports Complex in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Taexali entered the development tier of Hadrian Cup 10s tournament at Percy Park, hosted by Newcastle Ravens. The team were triumpant over Azlans, York Templars, and Newcastle Ravens in the pool series to progress to the semi-final where they brushed aside Hull Roundheads. Aberdeen Taexali met fellow Scottish side Glasgow Alphas in the final where Aberdeen edged their west counterparts to win the Antinous Plate – the club’s first piece of silverware. Rob Clunas was voted the Player of the Tournament.
Later that month, due to the global pandemic of Coronavirus (Covid-19), Scottish Rugby suspended all rugby in the country and were forced to conclude the 2019/20 season.