Keighley Cougars Rugby League club proudly announce the appointment of India Willoughby as their patron, marking a groundbreaking moment as the world’s first transgender individual to serve as patron of a professional sports club.

This historic appointment underscores the club’s unwavering commitment to promoting inclusivity in the realm of sports.

India Willoughby, a pioneer in her own right as Britain’s first transgender newsreader and tv journalist, has long been an advocate for Trans Rights. Her nomination aligns perfectly with the ongoing efforts of Kaue and Ryan, owners of the club, to foster a more inclusive sporting environment.

Ryan emphasized, “With visibility comes understanding, and this appointment reinforces that notion. We need more representation of trans individuals in all spheres to combat the pervasive stigma.”

The 2024 season for Keighley Cougars will be dedicated to promoting Trans Rights as Human Rights, with India Willoughby leading the charge. Ryan further stated, “Keighley Cougars have always been at the forefront of promoting inclusivity and sparking meaningful dialogue. This appointment is another step forward in our positive approach.”

India Willoughby expressed her gratitude for the opportunity, stating, “I’m thrilled to represent this incredible club that is challenging societal norms. My community has faced unjust scrutiny for too long, and all I aim to do is represent this club to the best of my ability while advocating for understanding and acceptance.”

In addition to the appointment, Keighley Cougars unveiled their special Trans-inspired kit, which will be worn by players during their Annual Pride Fixture on
July 7, 2024, against Rochdale Hornets. All profits from the sale of the kit will be donated to the Mermaids Charity.

The Mermaids are one of the UK’s leading transfocused charities, providing services directly to trans children and young people, families and work to
educate and inform professionals and organisations who want to be part of a society where trans children and young people are safe, included and empowered
to be their best selves.

Kaue Garcia adds: ‘Hopefully we will be able to donate thousands of pounds to this amazing charity to promote education and understanding to the Trans community. Since 2019, that’s our mission, our motto and our ethos. Making sure we are an inclusive club to all, as everyone deserves to be heard and respected above all’.

The Trans-inspired kit can be purchased via the Cougars website in due course