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  1. ITV Report

Record numbers attend Britain's biggest LGBT sporting event

Hadrian Cup is hosted by Newcastle Ravens Credit: Graham Snelson

Organisers of the biggest LGBT sporting event in the UK have hailed the tournament a great success with record numbers attending.

More than 400 rugby players and supporters, plus an army of volunteers, descended on Percy Park in North Shields for the annual Hadrian Cup tens tournament.

It is hosted by the Newcastle Ravens, the North East's only LGBT inclusive rugby team.

Emerald Warriors won the Hadrian Cup Credit: ITV News

The Hadrian Cup trophy has been taken back to Dublin after the mighty Emerald Warriors beat Caledonian Thebans in the final.

The Antinous Plate, the award in the development tier, was won by Aberdeen Taexali in an all-Scotland final against Glasgow Alphas.

Players from 18 teams attended the weekend Credit: Graham Snelson

To see record numbers of teams and players coming to Hadrian Cup is really encouraging.

There are many great events in the rugby calendar so we are thrilled people year on year are putting this in their diary.

We have already had teams saying they are definitely signing up for 2021."

– Matt Hyland, event co-coordinator
Aberdeen Taexali won the Antinous Plate Credit: Graham Snelson

The teams are part of International Gay Rugby (IGR) which promotes diversity and inclusivity in the sport, and encourages a friendly and welcoming environment for LGBT players.

For the first time the tournament was held across two experience levels with a development tier to accommodate the growing number of newer teams forming and joining the IGR.

The tournament is the biggest LGBT rugby event in the UK this year Credit: Graham Snelson

There were teams present this weekend which weren't even in existence a year ago - and one of them was victorious.

Having the development tier means newer IGR sides can try out a tens tournament against others of a similar standard.

We're hoping to see even more brand new teams next year as the popularity of LGBT rugby keeps growing."

– Bas Olthof-Bakker, event co-coordinator
The Northern Pride team at Hadrian Cup Credit: Northern Pride

Hadrian Cup was a featured event in Northern Pride's 6 month UK Pride campaign, in the run up to UK Pride 2020 in Newcastle in July.

Also present at the event were representatives from Newcastle City Council, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Northumbria Police and the North East Ambulance Service.