Keighley Cougars will host their fifth annual Pride Game this Sunday, when they entertain Rochdale Hornets in Betfred League 1 at Cougar Park.

The focus this year is on transgender rights – something the club’s owners feel passionately about.

Earlier this year the club unveiled a giant flag in support of the trans community before a crowd of nearly 4,000 fans and special guest India Willoughby – the UK’s first trans newsreader.

Willoughby has since been appointed club patron at the Cougars.

Bearing the message ‘Trans Rights are Human Rights’, the flag is on display at every Cougars’ home match, while the Pride fixture itself will be used to focus on solidarity with and advocacy for a community that has long faced discrimination and marginalisation.

Keighley Cougars co-owner, Kaue Garcia, explained: “The trans community faces constant adversity and unfair treatment.

“They are our brothers and sisters, who deserve respect and equality above all else.

“The Rochdale Hornets match will focus on trans rights, emphasising the importance of supporting the trans community.”

Among the special guests at the Pride fixture will be former Super League referee James Child, a member of Rugby League’s Inclusion Board.

James Child refereeing a Super League encounter between Wigan and Castleford in 2020.James Child refereeing a Super League encounter between Wigan and Castleford in 2020. (Image: PA.)

Child said: "Ryan and Kaue invited me to attend last year's Pride fixture and I couldn’t help but be impressed by the family-friendly atmosphere.

“There were old and young fans enjoying wearing rainbow colours, while singing and dancing to gay pop anthems after each try.

“I’m thrilled to be invited again and am looking forward to more of the same on Sunday.

“Pride began after the Stonewall riots – the gay liberation protests in June 1969 in the USA which led to the first Pride march the following year in New York City.

“Much progress has been made since, but it is important to remember that this is not the case everywhere – including in the world of sport.

“As far as rugby league is concerned, the whole game has made a commitment to meet discrimination head on and the TACKLE IT action plan details how we are working to break down any barriers to involvement in rugby league.

“As a member of the game’s Inclusion Board, I’ll be working with my colleagues on the board to make sure we continue to make progress.

“Seeing Keighley Cougars deliver a Pride fixture under the banner of RL Together is an important articulation of that.”

Tickets for Keighley’s game against Rochdale are available now on Cougars’ website.

The event at Cougar Park will kick off at midday, with the new Cougars Women’s team taking part in a development fixture against their Newcastle Thunder counterparts.

Cougars Women score a try in their first game as a new team last month.Cougars Women score a try in their first game as a new team last month. (Image: JT Sports Media.)

Hi Energy Dance Group will then perform at 2:10pm, with Clubbercise taking place 20 minutes later.

Drag queen Marigold Addams will perform just before kick-off in the men’s first-team fixture, then again at half-time.

Following the conclusion of the game, there will be a DJ set in the club’s Hall of Fame bar from 4:45pm.