Every year, the Stonewall campaign to ‘make sport everyone’s game’ grows in visibility. We’re here to help you be a part of it…
Darts making its debut. The world rugby family showing support. A British boxer’s title-winning boots. That wonderful Watford tifo.
These are just a few of the examples from across sport that ensured last year’s Rainbow Laces activation reached more people than ever before. Research by our friends at Stonewall, the charity which runs the LGBT+ inclusion in sport campaign, found 12m British adults saw Rainbow Laces in 2018; that figure includes 34% of sports fans (those who watch live sport at least once a month). This year, the activation period will begin on November 22 and run through the first week of December, when the Premier League will be among those amplifying the message.
Whatever your role or connection to sport, Rainbow Laces presents an opportunity to be part of the team. The goal is to ‘make sport everyone’s game’ – from the grassroots level in your local area, all the way up to the elite. It’s a chance for each of us, in our own way, to send out a positive signal that truly resonates far and wide – including to places around the world where LGBT+ rights are yet to be won – and also empowers others.
Since Sports Media LGBT+ started up two years ago, we’ve been helping to provide connections and advice to people with a passion for sport. Some want to promote their team, club, group or organisation, and the work they’re doing to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people feel welcome. Others have personal stories and experiences that illustrate how sport is becoming more inclusive, and where challenges still remain.
By drawing upon our understanding of the media, our relationships with our partners, and the empathy we have as LGBT+ individuals working in this space, we offer guidance and bring new voices into this important conversation.
Maybe you know of an unsung hero doing important work on LGBT+ inclusion in sports; perhaps you’re part of a football fans group making the game more beautiful; or you’ve got a personal story that you wish your younger self could have heard. We’ll listen and learn in confidence, and suggest options that can deliver the outcomes you want.
A major part of this year’s campaign activation is ‘Come Out Active’ – a rallying call to participate with pride! Add a little colour to your fitness workout, five-a-side football game, squash match, or other physical activity, and share those good vibes that Rainbow Laces brings.
Stonewall can provide the laces, fundraising pack, posters and more, while we’re on hand to help make your message go further through our network of colleagues in local and national media, our website and social channels, and our links to other sports bodies and media organisations.
Our commitment to Rainbow Laces runs deep – our founder Jon was a guest speaker at the most recent Rainbow Laces Summit, held at Wembley in September 2018, in his role as content co-ordinator on the campaign for Sky Sports. Through Jon, there are also opportunities to contribute in Sky’s coverage – read more here.
In addition, our #AuthenticMe events, which celebrate how authenticity for LGBT+ people in sport can boost performance, bring our community together to share stories and meet inspirational Olympians, trailblazers, and grassroots heroes.
It’s LGBT+ people and allies like you that bring Rainbow Laces to life – let’s work together to make the campaign bigger and brighter than ever before!