Posted on behalf of our club chairman.
“Quite rightly we constantly talk about Old Laurentian RFC being ONE CLUB and the attached statement tries to set out what that means in practice. Please take the time to read, digest and ensure you abide by the sentiments. We are members of the inclusive Old Laurentian RFC and can rightly be proud of our Club.”
Please see the statement below.
All the Best
Chairman Old Laurentian RFC
INCLUSIVITY STATEMENT OF OLD LAURENTIAN RFC
The heading of this paper sounds very corporate and potentially political correct language and anybody who knows me well understands I have never been a corporate sycophant and this statement is written to express what I feel is the essential DNA of Old Laurentian RFC.
The Club was founded in 1919 after the most brutal and devastating war in Europe where the country came together and creating a rugby club was a means for the former pupils of Lawrence Sherriff of maintaining friendship and playing sport together. At the time it was solely a gentleman’s club as the School was a male only institution.
In the 1960’s the club became open permitting players from other schools and elsewhere in the UK to join the club with Dave Eales being one of the first outsiders to be enrolled. He has been a loyal member/servant of the club for the last 50 + years and I suspect that there were some “old school types” who resented the change and talked about tradition. That change has been fundamental for the longevity and playing success of the club but we still and will continue to have a close relationship with the School and the OL’S society our Landlords of choice.
Since 1960’s the club has changed dramatically. We now have a thriving Mini & Junior section with a number of mixed gender age groups and separate female teams both tag and contact alongside the Phoenix Ladies senior team. We now have a Colts team for the first time in a generation and there should be a “conveyor belt” of players moving into the senior club for the foreseeable future. Quite simply the criteria for joining OLRFC is not where you were educated but whether you want to play any form of Rugby Union within a sociable & friendly club on a non-discriminatory basis, and, in particular, regardless of any of the following characteristics: sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status, civil partnership, pregnancy, age, disability, nationality, race, colour, ethnicity, religion, political belief, or other beliefs, except in relation to sex, age, or disability.
This is a straight extract from our constitution and I appreciate the legalese might be seen as over the top but it does embody what we are about. I have never been as proud to be Chairman of the club as I was at the Club Dinner in 2018. We hosted the Lady President of Warwickshire RFU, had a number of Phoenix members attending and were served by members of the U16 squad. That embodies everything about OLRFC - we are and will always be one Club with a diverse and thriving membership which is open, friendly and respectful to all members. It is the only way for the Club moving forward and remaining true to the spirit of the Old Laurentians.
If any members have any illusions that we should revert to the outmoded tradition of being a grammar school educated men only institution or something similar then I’m afraid it will not be at Old Laurentian RFC. We will always organise exclusive events for the discrete parts of the Club like the Blackpool Tour in 2018 or the Phoenix Ladies going to Worcester for the Weekend as “cowboys” but that is team or section specific. It does not detract from us being one Club it merely strengthens and supports Old Laurentian RFC.
I hope every member will get behind this statement and recognise what part they need to play in ensuring these values are upheld. Needless to say any member found to be acting in a discriminatory basis towards other members or guests of the Club will be subject to disciplinary procedures which might involve either suspension or cancellation of membership. Nobody within the Club wants such action to take place and it is in the hands of all members to ensure that it will not be necessary. Support Old Laurentian RFC.
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