Pride & Passion with P&P: Chelsea Douglas
In the latest feature of Pride & Passion with P&P, we caught up with longtime Edinburgh Rugby fan Chelsea Douglas who spoke about her love of the sport and how the inclusivity of rugby has brought her closer to the game.
Pride & Passion brings supporters stories to life, as we hear their reasons in choosing to #BackYourBurgh. Brought to you Main Club Sponsor Principal & Prosper, find out how you can receive impartial financial advice today.
Where do you live and support the club from?
What year did you first start supporting the club and what was the first match you attended?
I started going to rugby games during the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. My first live Edinburgh Rugby game was at home to Cardiff Blues in 2016.
I'm a huge fan of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and I’ve been an Edinburgh Rugby regular ever since.
Do you attend Edinburgh Rugby matches with friends or family?
I meet up with friends at matches and regulars who I keep in touch with. We're a really tight knit group.
As a disabled supporter, how inclusive is rugby and does the sport do enough to allow you access to games or the players?
Discovering rugby was one of the best things that ever happened to me. The sport is very inclusive and it increased my confidence ten-fold.
The sport and experience not only allows me to travel solo and visit some brilliant cities, but also to witness some incredible games and meet amazing people along the way.
I love being able to have a chat to the lads on a match night too, it’s something that’s quite a luxury as not many other clubs give you such close access to players.
Edinburgh Rugby is known as having a family atmosphere, what does this mean to you?
I think the family ambience is a huge part of the club and it’s another huge reason why I decided to support Edinburgh Rugby.
Living so close to Glasgow, you’d think I’d stay at the opposite end of the M8. I did try and support the Warriors but I preferred Edinburgh because everyone was so friendly and supportive of the players.
With a growing supporters club – Edinburgh Rugby Fans Group – the supporters have really come together off the pitch in the last few years, can you give us an example of that collaborative passion for the club?
The addition of the Fans Group has been amazing the work they do is incredible.
During the lockdown it’s been great to still get involved and support the with activities such as the Sponsor a Player campaign, the support videos for the guys whether it be milestone appearances or birthdays they are also great fun too.
Prior to lockdown the group was a great source for us all travelling down to Wasps, it was great to meet up with fellow fans before and after the match.
Edinburgh Rugby made a huge effort to keep fans going throughout the lockdown – when there were no games being played – what did that content and connection with fans mean to you?
The Capital Classics during lockdown were awesome, it was great to be able to recall some fab memories and at the same time satisfy that much needed rugby fix and watch some matches that I hadn’t seen before.
With better results and growing attendances, the club is on the rise – does it feel like fans are on that journey with Edinburgh Rugby?
Definitely. For sure, these last few seasons have been a rollercoaster ride to be part of and I think that us as fans are closer to the club now more than ever and the fans group plays a massive part in that too.
How excited are you to move into our new stadium and how important will having our own home be to supporters?
The new stadium is a hugely exciting prospect. It feels like we’ve been talking about it for so long!
I honestly can’t wait because the smaller ground means us fans can make it more intimidating place to play for the opposing team, like the atmosphere in a packed out Thomond Park or RDS Arena.
How special will it be for fans to get back into grounds and watch live rugby when it is safe to do so?
It’ll be so special and I for one can’t wait. The lockdown period in the beginning was quite challenging for me, rugby was one of the things that got me out of the house, and I can’t wait to be back at BT Murrayfield and the New Edinburgh Stadium one day soon.
Finally, if you were to sum up: what does supporting Edinburgh Rugby mean to you.
We are like one big family. Being disabled it’s sometimes difficult and hard to fit in, but the rugby is the one place where I’m happiest.
I can forget about everything else for 80 minutes and just immerse myself in the game and cheer on the lads - and I’m surrounded by passionate individuals doing the same thing.