Openreach kicks off sponsorship deal with Colchester Kings RFC
Openreach, the UK’s largest wholesale broadband network provider, has announced its sponsorship of Colchester Kings RFC, East Anglia’s first gay and inclusive rugby club.
The network company, which is used to line speeds and trucks and trailers of a different kind, jumped at the opportunity to get involved with support from its internal Pride network.
Colchester Kings was founded in June this year with a few taster sessions for enthusiastic amateurs and it’s now a fully-fledged club with a mission to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in rugby.
Based at Colchester RFC in Essex, the team aims to increase inclusivity and reduce barriers to joining team sports – and they’ll run out in an Openreach-branded kit for the first time on 10 December against Thurrock RFC.
Sam Biscoe, Chair of the Colchester Kings RFC said, “We’re thrilled that Openreach has chosen to support our team. We know that it will be a really positive relationship and we look forward to working closely on different ways to promote diversity and inclusion in sport.”
Scott Room, Director of Brand, Marketing and Digital for Openreach said, “We’re proud to sponsor Colchester Kings RFC in its first year. At Openreach, we’re on a journey to becoming a more diverse business that truly reflects the communities we serve all over the UK. Historically, telecoms engineering hasn’t been the most diverse industry, but we’re determined to help change that by being open to everyone and using our people networks to help us identify and break down barriers to inclusion.
“We know how powerful sport can be in promoting diversity and togetherness and, whilst it’s easy to talk about this stuff, what’s really required is action. This sponsorship is just one of the ways we want to help communities in a meaningful way and we wish the Colchester Kings all the best for the season.”
Openreach published its Diversity and Inclusion commitments in 2021, setting out some ambitious targets and how it intends to measure and report against them. Earlier this year, it followed up these commitments with the “Open to Everyone” report, which outlines the company’s progress as well as new initiatives which are being put into place.
Colchester Kings RFC joins more than thirty other inclusive rugby teams in the UK – there are more than 100 teams worldwide. It’s actively recruiting more members and all levels of experience are welcome to join regardless of age, size or sexuality.