For those who are new to rugby, it’s a tactical sport with immense physicality – described by some as a sport for thugs played by gentlemen! For a vegan rugby club like the Green Gazelles’ their formation has set a bold statement for non-vegan onlookers – can they prove themselves against a meat eating team? Yes, there is no doubt that they can! Their strength of 125+ men and women, based all over the world, are keen to represent the vibrant green jersey to kick animal abuse firmly into touch. Indeed, some of their players are current or ex-professional players who are living proof that eating plant-based does not make you weak nor does it disadvantage you in hard-hitting sports such as rugby!
Their clothing line certainly catches your eye, produced by Tsunami Sportswear, all kit is eco friendly made from recycled water bottles; in fact all their kit and equipment is 100% plant-based – how cool is that? Since their establishment in late 2018, they have made superb progress in attracting fellow like-minded businesses who foster the same caring outlook for the environment like them. It was during one of the Plant-Powered Expos in London that I first crossed paths with club founders Brendon & Amy Bale. I had recently watched the movie Game Changers, some of whose participants were attending the exhibition also. They were both in the audience behind me as we listened to a talk by Active Vegans. Fortunately, the speaker called out the Green Gazelles and when the session was finished I immediately turned around to find out more about the club. Brendon and Amy were super focused and highly energised promoting a more sustainable and compassionate future with an infectious enthusiasm.
After featuring in a mini documentary series and hosting various training camps they have since had some punchy headlines in plenty of vegan and rugby magazines such as Canadien Vegan Magazine & Rugby World which is credit to their efforts. The Green Gazelles are all about promoting welfare for animals, providing support with nutritional advice through their club nutritionist (Phil Bryden – MUSH Nutrition) and growing a community of like-minded players who can support each other to thrive. Their link with Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary saw them organise a 10km Challenge called #towerhillten which to date has raised close to £2,000 this challenge will run through till early 2021.
Next year will see them play tournaments in LA, London, Brüssels, Dubai and many more locations globally; whilst organising and preparing for an exhibition fixture at a major UK stadium in 2022. As a true community club, we see them as a future flagship in breaking down any associated stigmas surrounding plant-based athletes and inspiring more people to be active and benefit from plant-based foods. At Planet Arborist look forward to expanding our support to the Green Gazelles in the coming months.
If you would like to purchase any of their clothing or accessories you can go here. If you would like to lace up your boots to join the squad you can drop them an email at [email protected] or check out their social media @greengazellesrugby.