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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.