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Rugby Netherlands, IGR and Amsterdam Lowlanders Co-Sign New MoU


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Amsterdam, September 13, 2016 – ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders, the only gay and straight friendly rugby team in the Netherlands, has co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rugby Netherlands and International Gay Rugby (IGR) to promote inclusion of LGBT members in the rugby community and fight their discrimination. This MoU creates a framework for cooperation between the parties to continue the promotion of equality and inclusiveness in the game with educational tools, events and other regional activities aimed at improving tolerance and acceptance in Dutch rugby of LGBT players, coaches, referees and spectators.


From left to right: Sitting: Janhein Pieterse, Chair Rugby Netherlands, Duane Ward-Voerman, Treasurer IGR
Standing: Gerben Brug, coach ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders, Andrew Meredith, Director Rugby Netherlands
Photo by Sytse Zijlstra


Andrew Purchas, Chairman International Gay Rugby: “Congratulations to the Amsterdam Lowlanders and Rugby Netherlands for formalizing their commitment to jointly tackle homophobia in sport and ensure that the Netherlands is accepting for all those who want to participate in our great game of rugby regardless of sexual orientation or identification. The Netherlands has an extremely proud history of inclusion and diversity and this partnership further strengths this while positioning the Lowlanders and Rugby Netherlands as role models to the broader rugby and sporting community. IGR is extremely proud of all our members who are working with their National rugby associations to promote diversity, inclusion and rugby. In many instances sport is laggard in the promoting diversity and it is wonderful that rugby is playing such a strong leadership role.”

Janhein Pieterse, Chairman Dutch Rugby Union: “Rugby Netherlands signed the agreement with IGR and the ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders to demonstrate its image as an inclusive rugby organization. As rugby continuous to grow as sport in the Netherlands played by diverse groups, this agreement contributes to and emphasizes the evolution of rugby as the ultimate team sport.”

Dennis de Boer, Chairman ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders: “Integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and mutual respect have made rugby the team sport leading in diversity and inclusiveness. Although we operate on a smaller level as a sport in the Netherlands, we aim to provide a safe place for all of our club members. We are proud to sign this MoU with our (inter)national partners and thereby extending our aim and commitment to a global scale with a local flavour thanks to our history of acceptance and solidarity within the LGBT community through rugby.”

About Rugby Netherlands
Rugby Netherlands is the national sports association for all rugby clubs and is a member of World Rugby. It organizes the national rugby competitions for all age categories, the national teams, courses etc.. The Rugby World Cup was shown for the first time on national television in 2015, which led to many positive reactions. Since then, the membership of Dutch rugby clubs has grown by about 15%.

About International Gay Rugby
IGR represents the world’s 75 + gay and inclusive rugby clubs. IGR promotes equality and diversity in particular the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or identification and to promote good health through the playing of rugby. IGR provides opportunities for the LGBT community be involved in rugby with clubs committed to diversity and inclusion. IGR works on eliminating homophobia through community outreach, competitive play and tournament events which stand for acceptance in sport. IGR is an Associate Member of the Federation of Gay Games and is recognised by World Rugby as the representative LGBT organisation.

About the ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders
ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders is the only gay and straight friendly Rugby Union team in the Netherlands. What started off small in 2003 with only a handful of players, is now a thriving Rugby Union team with a firm position within the Amstelveense Rugby Club (ARC) and frequently participate in gay and inclusive rugby tournaments across the globe. The Lowlanders are active and visible members of the Dutch and Amsterdam gay community and are affiliated with Pride & Sports Amsterdam, the main contact point for LGBTQIA sports in Amsterdam.

For more information, please contact
Trevor Leslie | Media Relations ARC Amsterdam Lowlanders



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