By Joe Mander: ITV News London

The London Otters will soon be heading off to the Paris 2018 Gay Games.

The rowing club’s first international event comes four years after the London Otters were founded. Warwick Lobban set up the club after wanting to meet new people.

Credit: The London Otters/Simon Bell

I had always wanted to row and meet new people and both came together. I was surprised to find that other people were in a similar situation. We now have around 150 members and are probably the largest LGBT rowing club in the world.

Warwick Lobban, London Otters
Credit: The London Otters/Simon Bell

Speaking to those at the club, it seems that everyone has had difficulties with their sexuality at some point.

One rower, Nick, explains how at school other students started a petition for him to get changed separately to the rest of the class. He also found other types of sport difficult to get involved with.

Credit: The London Otters/Simon Bell

As someone who enjoys fitness, I felt anti-team sports because of what happened at school. I’d always wanted to join a rowing club and I found the Otters to be perfect because of their inclusivity. It doesn’t matter what your sexuality or skin colour is, they welcome everyone.

Nick Coveney, London Otters
Credit: The London Otters/Simon Bell

Over 10,000 people will be competing in the Gay Games which is made up of 36 different sports.