The Philadelphia Gryphons RFC is the Delaware Valley’s gay/inclusive rugby organization dedicated to encouraging participation, building athleticism and improving our community through the sport of Rugby. We work to foster a diverse environment that welcomes all athletes, regardless of age, race, fitness level or sexual orientation. We are one of the few amateur sports teams who practice and play within the city’s boundaries. The team is a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union and a member of International Gay Rugby.
While our day-to-day activities have us focusing on playing a sport and improving the caliber of the team, the Gryphons, as an inclusive rugby team, stand for social activism. In promoting acceptance and tolerance in sport, we affirm the simple belief that everyone is included regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, spiritual beliefs, education, class and all other classifications that make people unique. The difference is a core and celebrated value in our community and our sport. Additionally, rugby as a culture unites us across borders, oceans and differences.
While we have made progress, there is still much hate and discrimination to fight – every single day in everything we do.
For the Gryphons, this is embodied in our above-stated mission and is upheld in the three tenets of the Gryphons program:
- To Excel in Sport
- To Demystify Stereotypes
- To Support our Communities
Excel in Sport: The Gryphons provide a safe haven for people to work together and to learn a team sport. The club attracts a wide range of sports aptitude in our players and encourages those who are more adept to cultivate and challenge others who are looking to improve their skills. From the individual to the team, the Gryphons charge themselves to play their best level of sport in the local geographic rugby union as well as present themselves at local and international tournaments, including the Bingham Cup – a biennial international, non-professional, gay rugby union tournament.
Demystify Stereotypes: Each man on the team is a rugby player regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, spiritual beliefs, education, class and all other classifications. This fact, being a rugger, is how the Gryphons define themselves. The team provides role models for gay youth by demonstrating that being gay and participating in a physically aggressive sport are not mutually exclusive. The straight allies on the team support and fine-tune the club’s mission. Throughout, all players are strongly bonded together in camaraderie.
Support our Communities: The Gryphons are a part of many communities and contribute as active members. The club’s practice and game pitches have been secured through partnerships with the local area community centers to provide clean up days to ensure that community residents and Gryphons have safe and litter-free places to play. We support our local gay businesses and we partner with our other rugby teams to give back to our citizens in need. We represent the city of Philadelphia and the United States at our biannual attendance at the Bingham Cup.
The Philadelphia Gryphons RFC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. All donations (monetary and in-kind) made to the team are tax deductible as allowed by law. We need your help to continue with our mission of social activism through furthering the knowledge of rugby and bolstering diversity among its participants. Your gift of $25 or more will support us and help obtain city permits, medical supplies, mandatory annual training sessions for our coaches and administrators, game equipment, assistance with dues for players in need and the flexibility to provide for our most immediate needs.