Summer of Touch
So lockdown was over, restrictions on scrumming and rucking remained, and there was really only one solution - this was going to be the Summer of Touch.
The Ravens had dipped their toe into the curious world of touch between lockdowns in 2020, but this time we decided to jump in with both feet.
We had size 4 balls, hand sanitizer aplenty, and fashion-forward branded vests - we were ready.
It may be called touch 'rugby' but some of the rules are very counterintuitive to how one plays in a union game.
Learning to stop when tackled rather than powering through was a slow process, while running backwards seven metres at a time is tough on the calves.
One of the greatest skills to master was subbing off the pitch, taking on water to avoid dehydration, then subbing back on again moments later.
Within weeks we had our opening game against our first rivals, and now friends, the Percy Park Pirates.
This was followed by matches and tournaments in Catterick, Whitley Bay and Scarborough as we put theory into practice.
We even found time to put several members on a referee course so we could show up to events with our own officials.
One of the biggest highlights was hosting the first Northern Pride Touch Cup in July.
Six teams of mixed players from across the region took part in a full day of round robin matches, with a DJ and BBQ thrown in for good measure.
The Ravens would usually be marching in the Northern Pride parade on this day, so whilst that event was postponed it was great to do something to mark LGBT+ sport.
As summer drew to an end we ramped things up by putting on the North East Touch League - five weeks of Friday night matches at Percy Park.
Touch rugby is without a doubt a growing sport in England and we have seen other IGR teams forming their own touch squads in recent months.
While it is traditionally seen as a summer sport, we believe the drive to play will stay strong as the nights draw in.