The Philadelphia Gryphons Rugby Football Club (RFC) is a sports organization dedicated to encouraging participation, building athleticism, and improving our community through the sport of Rugby. We work to foster a diverse and inclusive environment that welcomes all athletes, regardless of age, race, fitness level, sexual orientation or gender identity. We are a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union and International Gay Rugby competing in Division IV play.
Beyond our Rugby mission, a key tenet of our team culture is to engage with our community through service. The Gryphons are active supporters of local organizations and charities that benefit the LGBTQ+ community, tend to our neighborhoods and public spaces, and support education initiatives.
CONCEPT FUTURE CREST
10 members from the Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club and 4 from the Washington Renegades Rugby Football Club visited the City of Brotherly Love on January 24, 2003 in order to spark interest in the "greatest sport in the world!"
The initial response from Philadelphia was strong and led to the establishment of Philadelphia Gay (PG) Rugby in 2003; The first men’s rugby club in the Philadelphia area to invite members from traditionally under-represented groups, particularly gay men and men of color to engage in one of the world's most popular team sports. Since then, the Gryphons have welcomed newcomers, as well as experienced players, coaches and fans of all ages, races, sexual orientations and gender identities.
Still as PG Rugby, the Philly team headed down to DC on April 12, to watch a rugby match between the Washington Renegades and the Boston Ironsides. This trip was edifying for our nascent team: not only did we learn a lot as spectators, but it helped bond our founders as a team and introduced us to the International Gay Rugby Association and Board (IGRAB) Rugby community, which has since rebranded as International Gay Rugby (IGR). Following the match, 7 PG ruggers attended the drink up (the infamous Rugby third-half) to socialize with the Renegades and Ironsides. That outing influenced the future of PG Rugby: the club felt inspired by watching two IGRAB teams battle it out, learned much about the game, connected with fellow ruggers in other clubs, and left determined to develop IGRAB Rugby in Philadelphia.
As of May 10, 2003, PG Rugby entered the IGRAB world as the Philadelphia Gryphons RFC. Seven very zealous men trekked to Randall's Island in New York City for a mini-bootcamp/scrimmage with the Gotham Knights Rugby. After 8 weeks of practice, the Gryphons played their first match. Though the Gryphons lost that match, the experience, itself, was a victory. A year later, the Gryphons sent a contingent to London for the 2004 Bingham Cup and won the inaugural Bingham Bowl division!
As we near our 20th year anniversary, the Gryphons remain committed to furthering the sport of Rugby in Philadelphia as an inclusive team that welcomes all!
The Gryphons have longstanding connections to various Philly area organizations that support the LGBTQI+ community, that service and improve our parks, public spaces, and neighborhoods, and that contribute to local education initiatives.
If our schedule permits, we're open to working with Philly charities that are in-line with our mission. Let us know if you need volunteers or help with fundraising for your next event.
Get in touch with our Director of Community Engagement: Anthony Chieco