On 8th September 2024, the vegan rugby team from the Green Gazelles Rugby Club will challenge the team from Richmond Rugby in a charity rugby event for the environment named “The Big Green Clash” aimed at raising funds and awareness for earth-caring causes. In addition to the rugby match, there will be a Sports Climate Summit, Eco Village, Health & Wellness Zone and environmental awareness activities. The event will take place at Richmond Athletic Ground, London, UK.

The funds will be raised for The Word Forest Organisation, which is a UK-based charity that plants trees in the UK and tropical countries, builds classrooms, facilitates education, supports a women’s empowerment group in Kenya, and raises environmental awareness. So far, they have planted a third of a million trees, which will remove 80,000 tonnes of CO2​ from the atmosphere. Many of the trees are planted in the tropics, as they grow up to ten times faster than anywhere else on the planet. For example, a 5-year-old mango tree is 12ft tall and has a yield of 100 pieces of fruit, while a cashew tree of the same age will be 20ft tall.

Founded in the UK, the Green Gazelles are a global invitational rugby team competing in 7s, Beach and 15s Rugby. Darren Dawidiuk and former Wasps players Lewis Robling and Connor McDonald play in this team. The vegan chef Gaz Oakley, labelled “a star of the meat-free world” provides world-class vegan food and recipes to the squad and fans. The club was created by Brendon Bale, who became vegan to support his partner who was suffering chronic back pain due to a herniated disk. Just a week after completely switching to plant-based they felt more energised, sharper, and stronger.  He then decided to create the first all-vegan rugby team in the world. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.