Where We've Been
The Charlotte Royals were founded in 2004 by a group of men who felt that the community lacked a gay rugby team. The team formed after members were invited to watch a scrimmage between the Atlanta Bucks and the Raleigh Kodiaks, and believed that this could happen in the Queen City. Rugby was not very popular and widely known in the South, however, the members saw that the gay community was embracing the sport and decided to form the team. The team at that time was small but determined. They learned the basics by joining practices with the Charlotte Mayhem and the Raleigh Kodiaks. From there, they gained local support and after a few years the team started to get a lot of buzz and the local gay community was showing more interest in the sport of rugby.
Today, we have over 30 players and a growing auxiliary membership (supporters closely affiliated with the team that pay dues) along with countless supporters from around the country. Additionally, we seek to break down perceptions of masculinity within the gay and straight communities by demonstrating the legitimacy of a gay men’s rugby team.
As a non-profit organization (501c3), the Charlotte Royals are affiliated with both the Carolina Geographic Rugby Union (CGRU) and International Gay Rugby (IGR).
Where We Are
We are currently the holders of the Hoagland Shield, our first international title awarded while playing during the Bingham Cup 2018 in Amsterdam.
Each spring and fall season (15-a-side) involves an average of 6 weekends of matches with fund raisers, social events, and charity work in the local area. The summer season (7-a-side) is organized based on interest, please check in with our Facebook page or contact us for details on summer practice times. This is an off-season for many players so we try to accommodate practices to best fit schedules.
As of 2015, the Charlotte Royals have begun hosting an annual tournament, the Queen City Crown. Held at the STAX Charlotte, this tournament plays host to IGR teams from all over. In 2016, we hosted teams as far south as Dallas and as far north as Baltimore, but with visiting players from as far away as Ottawa and even the UK! This is our 4th year hosting the tournament with 8 teams from all over the US-East. Come out on Sept 29th to help us make it the best one yet!
In addition to regular practices and matches, the Royals also hold several fund raisers and volunteer events throughout the year. It is our firm belief that we all succeed together when we work together, so if you would like to get involved with us for an event you have in mind, please let us know! We're more than happy to grab coffee and discuss ideas.
Where We're Going
The mission of the Charlotte Royals is to foster a supportive environment where gay and bisexual men and their straight allies can learn and play the sport of rugby. The team is open to all men regardless of their sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, religion, age, size, or whether or not they have ever played sports before. New members to the Charlotte Royals are expected to develop their individual athleticism as well as their sense of teamwork and sportsmanship. We partner with various community organizations and businesses to bring awareness to the sport of rugby and the importance of physical fitness and teamwork. The Charlotte Royals also donate time and resources to local charities and organizations to demonstrate our commitment to being a positive influence on the greater community.
How We're Getting There
2018-2019 Executive Board Members
President – Jeff Enochs
Club Manager – Lawton Hatley
Treasurer – Michael Katchur
Secretary – Kerry Beck
Match Secretary – Martin Pruitt
Social Chair – Rikki Bower
Fund Raising Chair – Michelle Magee
Player-At-Large – Robert Primm
Auxiliary Chair – Deanna Merrell
Coach – Amanda “Multi” Vestal
If you need to reach our board members, feel free to email us at RoyalsRFC@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you promptly.