Joel Loll-McKeever (24)
I joined the Warriors in January 2015 because I felt at a loose end after finishing college. I wanted something to do that would motivate me, give me a chance to challenge myself and push me out of my rut. Team sports and rugby in particular was always something I felt intimidated by growing up and too stressful to be involved in; I had decided that it required a skill set and an attitude that I simply didn’t have. I pushed myself to try one session with the Warriors. At least then I could say I had given it a go, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I didn’t know a single person when I first came to training and everyone made me feel welcome. The team is such a mix of ages, backgrounds and personalities that I didn’t feel out of place. They were happy to explain the most basic aspects of the game and encourage me to come back and get involved. The Warriors have given me a fantastic social outlet as well as a chance to be part of a team that really encourages each other to get fit, healthy and positive together and disproves some stereotypes and assumptions that we might have about ourselves. Since joining I’ve improved leaps in terms of exercise, diet, confidence and attitude since joining, this is something I said I’d try to achieve every Monday morning for about eight years. To be able to do all that and also be involved in the LGBT community at the same time is an exciting thing to be part of.