Michael Gratzke

Name: Michael Gratzke

Position: Back Row

When did you join #TeamRoundheads?

I joined the Hull Roundheads at the very first training session in the autumn of 2018.

Did you have any experience playing rugby before? And what attracted you to rugby?

I played rugby in Germany and England before. It was a bit exotic in Germany. My first team was mostly English-speaking. For me it was a switch from playing Association Football. I have always liked the combination of skills and physicality in rugby.

Why do you think there is a need for Inclusive Rugby?

Until such time that most mainstream clubs become truly inclusive, there will be a need for LGBT+ inclusive sports. I am saying that as a straight man. The sexism and homophobia I have seen in mainstream sports is something we have to combat in many ways. One way to do that is for LGBT+ people and their straight allies to be visible as teams.

What have you enjoyed the most about being a Roundhead and what is your favourite memory so far?

There is the team spirit which is fantastic as one thing but also the outstanding coaching by the Rugby England development coach Greg.

What does being part of the Roundheads mean to you?

I could say more things about being a straight ally of LGBT+ people but to be honest I keep coming back for the opportunity to be part of a fast developing rugby team. 🙂

Finally, to anyone reading this who is thinking of joining with experience or no experience playing rugby, but who haven’t yet decided to #ruckwithus, what would you say to them?

I retired from rugby in my thirties and have now returned in my fifties which felt a bit daft at the beginning. If you have played rugby before and still miss it a bit come along and have a go with Hull Roundheads. It is the most inclusive sports team in terms backgrounds and abilities in any sport I have ever trained with.

If you have never played rugby before but are curious you should come along, too, and check us out. Rugby is a demanding sport, especially if one plays league games, However, we have a fantastic coach, players of various levels of experience, and are friendly and welcoming.