10 of our Favourite Must See Christmas Movies

It’s that time of year again… most of us will have our Christmas Trees up, we would have consumed our body weight in mince pies and there’s some of us who have been fortunate enough to already be enjoying their festive break from the office. So, when you’ve had enough of festive cheer or rushing about to finish that Christmas shop, us Vulcans believe that one of the best ways to celebrate the season is to kick back with a drink or two whilst watching a Christmas film.

As always, in a world of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV and other on-demand services, we’re really spoilt for choice. So, if you’re one of the 11.5 million households in the UK who have spent the last 30 minutes trying to decide what to watch this Christmas, we’ve reached out to the Vulcan hive mind asking for recommendations on what you should watch. Go grab yourself another drink and mull over some of our recommendations for 10 Of Our Favourite Must See Christmas Movies:

Our first recommendation comes from Ed Dyson who is a massive fan of the Ron Howard vehicle, The Grinch. Now arguably one of the best adaptations of the iconic Christmas character, this installment sees Jim Carey take on the titular role that’s equal parts hearts as it is youthful fun. As Grinch, Carey outshines everyone in this film and clearly has a lot of fun doing so! When asked why The Grinch was his favourite Christmas film, Ed replied “It’s how I feel as an adult working in retail until Xmas day when I begin to enjoy it.”

Jingle All the Way is our next recommendation from our very own Matt Littler. The Schwarzenegger delivers another comedic performance in this festive hit where he plays family man who vows to get his son the most popular action figure for Christmas… on Christmas Eve. With every store sold out of the doll he is forced to travel all over town to locate the toy in a race against time. When asked why Jingle All the Way was his favourite Christmas film, Matt replied “It has action, heart, negligent father who later redeems himself, and like all good films feels like one giant commercial.”

We would have never seen this one coming but the next recommendation comes in the form of Deck the Halls. In it Matthew Broderick and Danny Devito face off after one of them decorates their house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space. Are you team Finch (Matthew Broderick) or team Hall (Danny Devito)? Either way it’s got 5.0 rating on IMDB so make of that what you will. When asked why Deck the Halls is Ciaron’s favourite Christmas Movie, he replied “I’m a big fan of Devito and the plot is just so daft and ridiculous you can’t help but laugh.”

Our next recommendation is 100% one of the best Christmas films out there. Sure, it might not be your grandmother’s taste, but as a gateway horror with enough festive cheer to put you in a seasonal mood, you can’t do much better than Gremlins! From the mind of the hugely talented Joe Dante, Gremlins sees Zach Galligan break three important rules concerning his new pet and in the process unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. When asked why Gremlins is one of his favourite Christmas films, Tom replied “lots of nostalgia for me, I’ve watched it every Christmas since I was 10.”

Our next recommendation takes us back to the late 1940s for the iconic festive favourite, It’s a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra the movie tells the story of an angel who is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. Scoring an impressive 8.6 on IMDb, It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for 5 Oscars and continues to be a firm favourite of audiences worldwide. When asked why It’s a Wonderful Life is his favourite Christmas movie, Glenn Allen replied “because of Clarence Oddbody”.

If you listened to episode 26 of the Sheffield Vulcans Podcast you will know why Nathan Murtagh loves Muppets Christmas Carol. To be fair, who doesn’t love this film! Starring everyone’s favourite muppet alongside screen icon Michael Caine as Scrooge, this film has everything you’ll ever want in a Christmas film. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you sing along and watch it all again because it’s just that good!

From the mind who brought the world one of the most effective festive slasher film Black Christmas, comes this 1983 family friendly comedy. A Christmas Story is directed by Bob Clark who tells the story of a young boy named Ralphie who is determined to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a BB gun is really the perfect Christmas gift. When asked why this is his favourite Christmas film, Chris Moore replied “Nobody has heard off this one, but my family used to watch it every year – I know every line off by heart.”

Ho ho ho! Now I have a machine gun! Well is it a Christmas movie though? It’s set on Christmas Eve and it’s up to NYPD’s John McClane to save his wife and the rest of the corporate big wigs at Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles who have been taken hostage by German terrorists during their office Christmas party. This one comes highly recommended by Dominic Brady and regardless if you believe it’s a Christmas film or not, Die Hard is a perfect slice of action cinema for anyone interested in watching the bad guys get their dues!

Would you leave your child alone at Christmas? Well apparently Catherine O’Hara would! Our very own Archie Carnall might be somewhat triggered by this film but I think we all know why Home Alone is a fantastic Christmas Film. There’s no need to check out the remake/reboot on Disney+ this is the real gem right here. However, for those who might have been hiding under a rock, Home Alone sees Macaulay Culkin play Kevin, an eight-year-old windup merchant who is forced to protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidently left home alone by his family during their Christmas Vacation. So if you want to check this gem out make sure you order a large cheese pizza just for you and prepare yourself for 103 minutes of chaotic fun!

In the festive installment of the National Lampoon’s vacation franchise, Christmas Vacation is directed by John Hughes. The film sees Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold who is busy planning his big family gathering only to find himself victim to one mishap after another. Featuring a fantastic cast, amusing set pieces and plenty of real laugh-out-loud moments, Christmas Vacation provide plenty of festive cheer throughout. When asked why Christmas Vacation is his favourite Christmas film, Andy Gibson replied “it’s crazy and puts a smile on my face.” We can’t grumble with that, Andy!

That brings a close to our list of 10 of our Favourite Must See Christmas Movies. However, no list would be complete without a few honorable mentions so here’s three more slightly obscure movies that you may or may not have considered previously:

Calling all musical fans! Fancy watching a film that’s about a zombie apocalypse in Scotland at Christmas? Look no further than Anna and the Apocalypse. Directed by John McPhail, Anna and the Apocalypse is the tale of Anna who finds herself fighting alongside her friends to survive wave after wave of the undead in their town of Little Haven. With civilization falling apart all around them, Anna must take a stand to survive. Best described as Buffy’s “Once More with Feeling” meets “Shaun of the Dead”, Anna and the Apocalypse is one of the most uplifting Zombie films you will ever see.

Sticking with a horror/comedy theme, the next recommendation is Better Watch Out. All you need to know about this film is that the film sees a baby sitter defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover the danger is so much worse. This really is the Scream of Christmas Movies. Don’t read anymore into this, the less you know about it the better. Trust us.

Finally, if you’re not so much into horror or comedy, why not check out something completely different in the form of Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles. Starring Kurt Russell as Santa, the film follows two siblings whose Christmas Eve plan is to catch Santa Claus on camera only to find themselves on an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Merry Christmas to you and yours from everyone here at Sheffield Vulcans RUFC.



In his Autumn Nations Predictions blog last year, Charlie picked his players to watch from each team in the Nations Cup. After receiving good feedback, and hot on the heels of his recent Guinness Six Nations 2021 Predictions blog, we are thrilled to welcome Charlie back to share more wisdom.

Hi Everyone. My players to watch for each team in the Nations Cup got some good feedback, so I thought I’d include a similar feature for this article in a starting XV format. These players are not the big names we expect to have strong performances, but some slightly lower profile members who I think could really make a mark this tournament.

Without further ado, here are my picks:

With the loss of Mako Vunipola to injury and Joe Marler for family reasons, Baby Rhino becomes England’s only senior loose head in the squad. His power and athleticism is frightening and his highlights reel impressive, but making a 20-minute impact off the bench is very different to leading the line through a tournament. If he can step up to the mark, I see him quickly taking on Tendai Mtawira’s mantle of best loose head in the world.

A veteran test player, the sheriff has been out for some time with injuries. Wales’ set piece has struggled hugely in his absence, and his return in February could shift the balance of their fortunes with his leadership and experience.

Ferguson has significantly improved as a player in nearly every area of his game. His scrummaging is powerful, he carries well in the loose and is even prone to the odd comedy try. Along with his partner Sutherland, he is becoming pivotal to a weapon Scotland have long been seeking in the tight.

Henderson could be the missing link for Ireland. While his Leinster counterpart James Ryan (deservedly) claims more plaudits, his success has come at the omission of Henderson due to their playing similarities. However, I believe the pair could be integral to matching the physicality of England and France this tournament. Look out for him smashing rucks, tackles and carries alike for 80 minutes.

After announcing himself to the international rugby scene in the early 2010s, poor form and injuries have gradually phased big Richie Gray out of the Scotland team, with his brother Jonny becoming one of their most important players. However he is back to his galavanting self in the Pro14, and I would love to see him recapture the international form that saw him picked for the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour.

This guy’s got a big future. He was part of the second-string French side that nearly dismantled England last December and is waiting for his opportunity to establish himself as a regular starter. Intelligent, strong, athletic, there’s not much this guy can’t do and this is being shown increasingly for club and country. As a natural open side, he will struggle to displace Ollivon, but I can still see him slotting in alongside the skipper and Aldritt to form a formidable back row this year.

With the injuries to star player Jake Polledri and the dependable Braam Steyn, Sebastian Negri will be tasked with bolstering the Italian back row this tournament. A native Zimbabwean, he has followed in the footsteps of compatriot David Pocock to represent his resident nation in international rugby. A hard tackler and break down menace, Negri’s performances could prove vital to Italy’s success this tournament.

Sam Simmonds has been the best number 8 in Europe for over a year and…. Wait he’s not in the squad? Not even the f**king SHADOW SQUAD??

Navidi has been sorely missed by the Welsh team. His industrious carrying and relentless tackling make him a thorn in the side of any opposition. His work rate and physical presence will provide firepower to a team who have looked sub-par up front this last year.

Since the retirement of Greig Laidlaw following the 2019 World Cup, Ali Price has been Townsend’s first choice scrum half. Whilst always a live wire, Price has added a maturity to his game at Glasgow that is seeping into his international form. The service he provides Russell will dictate Scotland’s tempo this tournament and I see him stepping up to the challenge.

Whilst hardly an unknown player, I feel that George Ford was not awarded the praise he deserved in 2020. Owen Farrell will always dominate the headlines, but Ford was one of England’s best players with his game management and pass variety providing the platform for the team to operate on. A big factor in England’s success, watch out for his quiet brilliance.

Wheels. This kid has them. After burning Premiership defences for fun with Gloucester, Rees-Zammit has made the step up to test rugby with relative ease. He has not shown his full abilities yet, and I’m itching to see a chance for him to really stretch his legs this time.

I’ve always been a big fan of this guy and I really hope he can rediscover his form from a couple of years prior. Often referred to as a simple crash ball twelve, Aki combines his Samoan power with better hands, pace and feet than people give him credit for. A strong ball player and stronger defender, Ireland look assured in midfield with his presence.

After turning down white for blue, Bath centre Cam Redpath could be set to make his Scotland debut this tournament. A well-rounded centre with good skills to accompany his athleticism, Redpath could prove a serious asset to Townsend’s ambitious back line.

Eligible for both England and Italy, Eddie Jones has not missed the opportunity to snaffle up in-form Odogwu for his first cap. While he is unlikely to displace tried and tested starters Jonny May or Anthony Watson, his scintillating Premiership form indicates we could be in for some very entertaining cameos off the bench.

This guy is silk. He’s quick, composed, has great positional sense and an absolute canon of a right boot. Making his debut last year, he marked it with an 85m clearance kick and a win over the English, and has just kept on improving. Expect another strong outing from the tidy youngster.

There you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this. If you disagree feel free to let me know your thoughts.




With us back in lockdown for the third time, it’s important that we do what we can to be a little kinder to ourselves.  The Vulcans are doing plenty to keep their fitness up until we can return to training thanks to the help of online HIIT sessions courtesy of Analise Moran from Moran Personal Training and taking part in our weekly Strava challenge which saw the team bank over 487 miles between them. However, it’s just as important to look after ourselves mentally as well  and the best way to do this is to recover from exercise and the stresses of everyday life by taking time for yourself doing something you enjoy.

That said, everyone has their own unique way of recharging their batteries when it comes down to it. For example, some like to meditate, some enjoy music and some like to turn their hand to something creative. However, if you’re like one of the 11.5 million households up and down the UK who subscribe to Netflix, you might have shared a status with the Facebook hivemind asking for recommendations on what to watch next. So, with this in mind, your friendly Sheffield Vulcans have got together to recommend 10 Binge-Worthy Box Sets to Stream During Lockdown to prevent you from wasting your precious time browsing the endless libraries of streaming platforms.

Our first recommendation comes from Liam Goodwin who has been binging THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY on Netflix. For those who don’t know The Umbrella Academy is an American superhero series based on the comic book of the same name. It revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death and the threat of an impending apocalypse. The cast includes Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Mary J. Blige, and more! So far there has been two seasons of the show which have received positive reviews from critics and a third season is on the way.

Liam recommends this show because it’s similar to X-Men but more violent. Also, it has a talking monkey and great soundtrack to boot! What more could you want?

Up next is STAR TREK DISCOVERY which comes from Andrew Gibson. The show is set a decade before the original Star Trek series and follows the crew of the USS Discovery as they discover new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien. The show stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Jason Isaacs and more. Taking advantage of modern filming techniques and visual effects, the series has received several awards and positive reviews from critics. If this sounds like your sort of show then you’ll be able to find three seasons on Netflix.

Andrew recommends the show because of how inclusive the show is. This modern spin on Star Trek focuses on diversity whilst taking audiences on amazing sci-fi adventures.

Our Next pick comes from Michael Hudson who is a massive fan of MODERN FAMILY. An American family sitcom, Modern Family that follows the lives of three diverse family set-ups in suburban Los Angeles. Presented in a mockumentary style, with the characters frequently speaking directly to the camera in confessional interview segments, Modern Family has received many awards and has been praised for the way it represents modern-day families and the situations that we all encounter in real life with a comical twist. Eight series of Modern Family can be found on Netflix.

Michael recommends the show because its funny, diverse, and heart-warming. Through 11 seasons you get to see the family grown and change with hilarious scenarios both relatable and over the top. With marriages, deaths, births, breakups, career changes, and the struggle of being an unemployed millennial, there is a story for everyone.

Our fourth pick comes from Gideon Hughes who recommends BROAD CITY. Starting off as a web series based on their real-life friendship, BROAD CITY was created and stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson as two friends who attempt to “make it” in New York. The show has many surprising cameos and a very kooky sense of humour which is quick to resonate with audiences. After all, there’s a reason why the show received critical acclaim throughout its run. The show ran for five seasons which are all available to stream right now on Amazon Prime.

Gideon recommends the show because he finds it hilarious because of how original it is. The storylines freewheel a bit which is similar to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Best of all, the show has no filter!

Next up comes in the form of DERRY GIRLS which has been recommended by Michael Callaghan. The show is a British sitcom set in Derry, Norther Ireland, in the 1990s. The show follows Erin, her cousin Orla, their friends Clare and Michelle, and Michelle’s English cousin James as they navigate their teen years. The first series premiered on Channel 4 and has been hailed as the channel’s most successful comedy since Father Ted. If you fancy checking the show out you can find both seasons available to stream on All 4 right now.

Michael recommends the show because he finds it hilarious and very rewatchable. It also provides a slice of home for him when he feels homesick.

Our sixth pick comes from Matthew Littler who recommends BIG MOUTH. An adult animated coming-of-age sitcom from the creators of Family Guy, Big Mouth is a series that follows a group of teens as they navigate their way through puberty with struggles like masturbation and sexual arousal. Throw in over-sexualised should angels in the form of hormone monsters and what you have is an animation show that has continued to wow and shock audiences all over the world thanks to its sharp crude humour. If you fancy giving the show a spin there are four series available to watch on Netflix.

Matt recommends the show because he loves how fun it is to watch and it’s something that everyone can relate to… at least a little bit.

Fancy something a little spooky? Look no further than our seventh pick BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER recommended by Tom Stephens. Buffy is a supernatural drama series based on the 1992 film of the same name and follows Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women know as “Slayers”. Across its seven series, Buffy is joined by her friends to fight vampires, demons and other forces of darkness as she embraces her destiny and saves the world. The series received critical and popular acclaim throughout its run and has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including novels, comics and video games. If you would like to check out the show you can watch all seven series on Amazon Prime.

Tom recommends Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it’s an absolute classic jam packed with nostalgia and hilarity.

Next up Michael Rennison recommends the British black comedy series FLEABAG. Written and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag sees Waller-Bridge appear as the title character, a free-spirited and sexually active but confused woman living in London. In the show the protagonist frequently breaks the fourth wall to provide exposition, internal monologues, and a running commentary to the audience. The show has received widespread acclaim and rightfully so because it’s amazing. The show only has two seasons and is currently available to steam on iPlayer.

Michael recommends the show because it’s absolutely hilarious.

Our next recommendation comes from Chris Moore who loves a bit of SEX EDUCATION. The show follows Asa Butterfield as a teenage boy living with his sex therapist mum (Gillian Anderson) who sets up an underground sex therapy clinic at his school with the help of his classmate. Once the show debuted on Netflix it was reported that over 40 million viewers steamed the show within its first month of release and has been hailed as “bawdy, heartfelt, and surprisingly wise.” With plenty of laugh out loud moments there’s so much to enjoy about Sex Education. If you fancy giving the show a go then head over to Netflix where you can enjoy two seasons right now.

Chris recommends the show because it’s wicked fun, has great characters and addresses some big societal issues head-on. It also strikes a perfect balance of making things matter of fact, without trivialising them either.

Our last recommendation comes from Jon Dickinson who is a big fan of INSIDE NO. 9, a black comedy anthology series written by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. Each 30-minute episode is a self-contained story with new characters and a new setting. The stories are linked only by the number 9 in some way and a brass hare statue that is in the background of all statues.  Themes and tone vary from episode to episode, but all have elements of comedy, horror and perverse humour, in addition to a plot twist. So far there have been five series of Inside No. 9 and they’re all available on iPlayer.

Jon recommends the show because it offers so much variety. If you like it spooky check out The Harrowing from Series 1 or Dead Line from Series 4. If you like it funny try check out Zanzibar from Series 4 or Sardines from Series 1. If you like to be moved emotionally check out The 12 Days of Christine from Series 2 or Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room from series 4. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, there will be an episode of Inside No. 9 for you!

Honourable mentions: SHITT’S CREEK(Netflix), RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE (Netflix), WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (iPlayer), TASKMASTER (All 4), PARKS AND RECREATION (Amazon Prime), END OF THE F***ING WORLD (Netflix), CATASTROPHE (Amazon Prime), THE GOOD PLACE (Netflix), SANTA CLARITA DIET (Netflix), MADAM SECRETARY (Amazon Prime), THE OFFICE US (Netflix), MARVELOUS MRS MAISEL (Amazon Prime), AFTER LIFE (Netflix), GHOSTS (iPlayer), WANDAVISION (Disney+) and THE LAST DANCE (Netflix).

There you have our 10 Binge-Worthy Box Sets to Stream During Lockdown. If you would like to share your recommendations with us let us know on social media by using the hashtag #VulcanVoice. Thanks for reading.



Sheffield Vulcans Recommend: 5 Must-See LGBTQIA+ Films & TV Shows

Last year Michael Hudson wrote a blog about LGBT representation in Media in which he picked a handful of his favourites to share with our supporters. Now It’s been over a year since the blog has been published and it’s been fantastic to see more studios, television networks and independent content creators continue to prove that it is necessary to include the LGBTQIA+ community in their projects. So, in celebration of what should have been the weekend that Pride in Sheffield would have taken place, the Sheffield Vulcans have got together to recommend 5 Must-See LGBTQIA+ Films & TV Shows that celebrate our amazing community.

Described as essential viewing by our own Charlie PM, Matthew Warchus’s Pride is a stunning British historical comedy-drama that has received critical acclaim and several award nominations including the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture. Based on a true story, Pride follows a group gay and lesbian activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984. Starring an incredible cast including Andrew Scott, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West, Pride is a beautiful story packed with plenty of heart and humanity. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry but more importantly it will take you through some incredible history that proves If you’re willing to support your fellow person, great things can be achieved.

Our next recommendation comes in the form of the 5-part web-series The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo. Directed by, Written by and Starring Brian Jordan Alvarez (from TV’s Will & Grace), the series focuses on a group of LGBTQIA+ LA actors who are romantically intertwined. We love it because of its absurd comedic timing and intensely strong characterisation. The whole series wraps up in just an hour and a half and features a surprising heartfelt ending. So if you want to check it out for yourself then you’re in luck as the whole series is available to watch for FREE on YouTube. click here to watch it.

POSE is an outstanding drama series from the minds of Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. Serving face, looks and topics that dominated the 80s and early 90s, POSE is one of the first trans led, trans positive shows to tell the story of the culture within the African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom scene. The show stars ensemble cast including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson and Billy Porter and is available in full on BBC iPlayer. So, if you are a fan of the amazing documentary Paris is Burning but have yet to watch POSE then you are sorely missing out on one of the most iconic shows ever produced.

Up next is the sleeper hit Shitt’s Creek. Created by Dan and Eugene Levy, the show follows the trails and tribulations of the formerly wealthy Rose family after they are forced to relocate to Shitt’s Creek, a small town they one purchased as a joke. On their arrival the Roses take up residence in town’s motel as they adjust to life without money and comedy ensues. At first glance the show appears to be a standard fish-out-water sitcom but  any Shitt’s Creek fan will confirm that it doesn’t take long to hook audiences thanks to it’s amazing writing, sense of humour and solid performances by its cast. The reason why this show made our list is because of the way the show embraces its central pan-sexual character David, played here by Dan Levy. We love the way David’s sexuality is simply accepted by other characters in the show with no expressions of homophobia in the story line and that deserves to be celebrated.

Written and directed by openly trans filmmakers, The Wachowski Sisters (the minds behind The Matrix franchise), Sense8 portrays the story of eight strangers from different parts of the whole who suddenly discover they are mentally and emotionally linked. We love the way the show explores subjects that are not commonly emphasised in many science fiction shows to date such as politics, identity, sexuality, gender and religion. The first season is available to stream on Netflix and we want you to check it out for its representation of LGBTQIA+ characters and themes.

There you have our 5 must-see LGBTQIA+ films and TV shows. If you would like to share your recommendations with us let us know on social media by using the hashtag #VulcanVoice. Thanks for reading.

Lets Tackle the Stigma of Mental Health

As Sheffield Vulcans we believe that mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health is important. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress on and off the pitch and how we make decisions. That’s why we stand together as a club to provide a warm and welcoming environment where everyone feels valued.

We are delighted to be in partnership with LooseHeadz, the rugby leisurewear brand stocking high-quality workout gear from sizes Small to 4XL whose aim is to tackle the stigma of mental health in rugby. With every purchase made via their website, the LooseHeadz Foundation with the help of Team Mental Health, are funding events and initiatives to rugby players at every level of the game, aimed at opening up the conversation around mental health.

Every penny that goes into the LooseHeadz Foundation is used to tackle the stigma of mental health in sport and we’re excited to offer our amazing players, members and supporters of our club 15% off any purchase of LooseHeadz gear. Head over to their website and use the code “SheffVulcans” at checkout.

By choosing LooseHeadz, not only will you be helping to tackle the stigma of mental health but you will be supporting us as well. Let’s work together to make the conversation about mental health be as normal as one about any physical injury or ailment.


Sheffield Vulcans Recommend: Pre-Training Meals

As Sheffield’s first LGBTQ inclusive Rugby team we pride ourselves on being a squad made up of athletes who come from a wide range of ability, fitness and experience. Always looking for ways to improve our performance our team of coaches heartily encourage our members to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

However, in today’s new world forged by Covid-19, it is often difficult to keep on the straight and narrow when it comes to nutrition. Sure, lockdown rules have been relaxed and we can do as much exercise as we want out doors but it also means that temptation of grabbing something quick and easy is even more present now the golden arches have opened their drive through and delivery services.

We’re not worried too much though because tonight marks the restart of our training sessions. That’s right, keeping in-line with the recommended government guidelines our team has been split into squads of six who will work together to complete HIIT sessions developed to help improve our fitness during pre-season ready for when the season begins (whenever that may be).

With training starting again the team have been thinking about how we each treat our bodies. We’ve already been encouraging one another to remain active during lockdown thanks to our weekly Strava challenge but it’s just as important to take note of our nutrition as well. Good nutrition is vital for exercise and performance and can help recover faster after each workout. It’s equally as important to think about the timing of your pre-workout meal too. That’s why it comes highly recommended to try and eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein and fat at least 2 hours before you exercise as this will help prevent any stomach discomfort during exercise.

Ahead of tonight’s training we turned to our committee to see what their go to pre-training meal and here is are a few of their recommendations:

If your training starts within 3 hours:

Our club President Michael Hudson recommends something quick and easy to prepare. That’s why he swears by enjoying a meal of chicken and rice/pasta a few hours before training. Protein, carbs… simple!

As an alternative suggestion, our very own Matt Clark recommends fajitas made with lean protein, brown rice and roasted vegetables.

If your training starts within 2 hours:

Our Social Secretary Tibble Smith knows how to keep it light and recommends enjoying some toast with butter (and jam if he’s feeling a little naughty).

As an alternative suggestion, you could enjoy a bowl of whole-grain cereal and milk.

If training starts within an hour:

Our club Chair Glenn Allen and our very own Jude Berry recommend enjoying a piece of fruit, such as a banana or an apple.

As an alternative suggestion you could enjoy a nutrition bar with protein and wholesome ingredients.

That concludes our recommendations for pre-training fuel and we hope you found it useful. Remember at the end of the day improving your pre-training nutrition can go a long way in helping you perform better and recover faster as an athlete. But before you go, remember that your body also needs water to function so it is important that you maintain good hydration habits as well.

Thanks for reading.


Sheffield Vulcans Recommend: Podcasts Vol. 1

The Sheffield Vulcans have been taking part in a weekly Strava challenge that has seen the team working together to reach a set distance. For the last three week’s we’ve constantly smashed every target set and we’re on track for beating it for the fourth week in a row.

Inspired by the appearance of our very own Michael Hudson on episode 2 of the Ruck My Life Podcast, a podcast dedicated to exploring what life is like for the LGBTQ+ community in sport, we reached out to the team to see what podcasts they’ve been listening to whilst taking part in our Strava challenge.

Kicking off our list of recommendations is the House of Rugby, a podcast that takes its listeners right to the heart action with big name interviews and delving into the big issues in the game. Presented by Alex Payne and James Haskell, House of Rugby is a casual yet informative podcast released every Wednesday to provide listeners with a breakdown of the news in rugby union.
Rec by Charlie Prior-Mills & Chris Moore

Do you like Music? Do you like taking part in Quizzes? If you answered yes to both then you should check out the PopMaster podcast. Presented by BBC 2’s Ken Bruce, PopMaster invites listeners to take part in his tricky music quiz. There are over 27 episodes for you to check out which provides hours of fun for listeners to enjoy!
Rec by Glenn Allen

If you love to laugh then Shagged. Married. Annoyed. is for you. Chris Ramsey and his wife going through letters from the public and discuss how things are in the world. Very relatable and extremely hilarious, there are over 65 episodes to check out. So, if you’re looking for something to put a smile on your face during lockdown this show will provide plenty of laugh out loud moments!
Rec by Andrew Gibson

Three friends read the erotic fiction written by one of their dads who knows almost nothing about sex, anatomy, or storytelling in the smash hit podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno. Certainly one of those you have to hear it to believe it experiences, My Dad… is praised highly by multiple Vulcans as one of the best podcasts they’ve ever listened to!
Rec by Joel Walker & Matthew Buckingham

Next up is Athletico Mince, a British comedy podcast hosted by Bob Mortimer and Andy Dawson. The football podcast that no one wanted features discussions about football and whether being gentle in the Premier League makes one a better manager. It’s not for everyone but if you’re into your football and you’re a comedy fan then this is the mash up for you.
Rec by Chris Moore

Fancy a dive into the world of conspiracy theories? Those Conspiracy Guys is an Irish comedy podcast that discusses pretty much everything from paranormal happenings and true crime right through to aliens and werewolves. No topic is too delicate or outlandish, the team go above and beyond to provide listeners with plenty of waffle as the show dissects the misinformation out in the world.
Rec by Archive Irving

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness podcast sees the bubbly and fast paced thought process of JVN take listeners on a rollercoaster for 45 minutes as he asks questions of all varieties to experts across the world. Get better understanding of complex issues, learn things you never knew, and learn more about the work of celebrities and activists from across the globe. There’s something for everyone and you’re guaranteed to learn something new whilst doing it.
Rec by Michael Hudson

If you’re a fan of Ru Paul’s Drag Race then you’ll want to check out Race Chaser with Alaska and Willam. Entertaining and insightful, the show recaps every episode and dives deep to provide listeners with gossip about what was really going on behind the scenes. Covering every season of Drag Race, All-Stars and Drag Race UK, Race Chaser is the best podcast to listen to if you’re a fan of the show.
Rec by Daniel Jenkinson

If you’re a fan of horror then you should check out the Tales from Beyond the Pale podcast. Hosted and curated by filmmakers Larry Fessenden (Depraved) and Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), this award-winning series treats listeners to half-hour tales ranging from the gently macabre to the genuinely gruesome. With over 30 episodes currently available, this show is guaranteed to send icy chills down your spine… if you’re brave enough to listen.
Rec by Jon Dickinson

Andy Goode, Big Jim Hamilton & Andy Rowe have a real treat for Rugby fans in The Ruby Pod. From covering the latest news with plenty of laughs and opinions without taking themselves too seriously, The Rugby Pod is made for fans, by fans and exists as a fully interactive platform where listeners are invited to get in touch with funny stories, questions or opinions via social media.
Rec by Charlie Prior-Mills & Chris Moore

Let’s finish off this round of podcast recommendations by mentioning the excellent Ruck My Life podcast again. Presented by CJ who plays for the Village Spartans, Ruck My Life continues to grow as a very informative podcast featuring guest appearances from IGR players around the world to give an insight into their experiences as a LGBT player in a sports team. Please show it your support by checking it out.

All the shows listed above are available where all good podcasts are available.