There’s nearly 50 hours of programming in the first-ever Football Pride virtual festival on July 25 – we’ve picked out a few highlights…
By Jon Holmes
It’s been five weeks since live football returned to our screens – but with the season nearing its completion, Saturday looks a bit empty fixtures wise.
Fear not! The first-ever virtual Football Pride festival is here to fill 12-and-a-half hours of your weekend, bringing you a wide variety of great content celebrating LGBT+ inclusion across the beautiful game.
The Football v Homophobia team has put together a jam-packed schedule and like at any great festival, it’ll be tricky for visitors to see everything on their wishlist and plot a route through the day.
There is only one place to start though – make sure you begin proceedings at noon with the Virtual Parade, which will showcase around 25 brilliant LGBT+-inclusive organisations representing fans, clubs, activists and more.
Listen to event co-organiser Samuel Timms discussing Football Pride with Jack Murley on the latest episode of the BBC LGBT Sport Podcast…
You can also join Sam’s fellow event organiser Natalie Washington and her guests at any point from midday until midnight on the Social Stream – it’ll be the perfect place to drop in, chill out, meet friends, and see how Natalie’s Championship Manager 01/02 season is going! You can even ask her to edit you into the save…
But which stages should you head for? What’s going on at each one? What makes a session unmissable? And what time are they on?
Ultimately, the choice is yours, and chances are you’ll stumble onto something special and unexpected as you move around Football Pride.
However, we couldn’t resist picking out a few of our highlights which we’ve already pencilled into the Sports Media LGBT+ planner…
European Football Quiz (1pm to 2pm OR 7pm to 8pm)
WE. LOVE. A. QUIZ. And this one should be a classic. Charlton Invicta’s Jon Allen is your quizmaster, and there’s a Football v Homophobia rainbow ball up for grabs! The competition is in association with the EGLSF (European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation) and if you can’t make the lunchtime session, you can do the evening one instead. Note – you are asked to pre-register to play, and the deadline for entries is 8pm on Friday.
PlayStation FIFA20 Club World Cup Tournament (1pm to 8pm)
32 teams and it’s all knockout – and with ‘85 mode’, it’s a level playing field too! The tournament now has a full roster of entrants, so spectators only here. If you want to watch some football action on Saturday afternoon, the live stream is the place to be!
Can We Talk? Black LGBT+ Inclusion (1pm to 2pm)
This promises to be a really important conversation, as networking group Sport Shifts lead a discussion exploring inclusion in sports environments for black members of the LGBT+ community. Why might our existing spaces not feel welcoming for all? What is the solution? And how comfortable do we feel to talk about this? Register here to attend.
LEAP Sports #PrideActive Conversation – Amy McDonald (2pm to 3pm)
Andrew Henderson from our network has done an amazing job north of the border with his Pride of the Terraces interviews and now we get to hear from him in person with a special edition in the #PrideActive Conversations series! Andrew’s guest is Amy McDonald, the Women’s and Girls’ Manager at Rangers and a former Scotland international defender and midfielder. She’ll talk about her playing career, her move into coaching, LGBT+ inclusion in the Scottish women’s game, and much more. Sign up here to access via Zoom.
LaGolda screening (2.30pm to 3pm)
An animated film close to our hearts, we’re delighted to see the brilliant ‘Game Changer’ episode of the LaGolda series on the itinerary in the Family Zone. Join LaGolda and her Sound of Gol team-mates for this latest adventure as they meet 11-year-old Ryan who’s facing a tough time at her school in New Jersey. There’s also a bonus film with Wales legend Jess Fishlock – and if you can’t make the 2.30pm screening, hop on over to the Norwich Pride live stream at 4pm and catch it there instead!
FA Coaching Clinic with Rehanne Skinner (3pm to 4pm)
A webinar from the FA Women’s National Head Coach for U18 to U21 age groups, Rehanne Skinner, who will be discussing ‘Extensive Pressing’ – part of her coaching area of expertise. A rare opportunity to learn from one of English football’s most experienced Pro Licence holders and to put questions to her in the Q&A that follows. Book your place here!
FvH Podcast: Anita Asante (5pm to 6pm)
Friend of Sports Media LGBT+ and an all-round hero of ours, Anita Asante is one of the most respected voices in British football and someone who is increasingly using her profile and influence to push for change. Having recently switched from WSL champions Chelsea to newly-promoted Aston Villa, the England international will discuss activism and representation in a wide-ranging conversation with the FvH Podcast’s Beatrice Thirkettle and Angharad Englefield. Click here to go to the FvH YouTube channel.
Spurs – Road to a Rainbow Stadium (6pm to 7pm)
Another England international makes an appearance in one of the headline acts of the festival. Ledley King made over 250 league appearances for Tottenham and is now a club ambassador. He joins Chris Paouros and Simon Gray from the Proud Lilywhites LGBT+ fans group, executive director Donna Cullen and supporters liaison officer Levi Harris to talk about Spurs’ inclusion journey so far which included the lighting up of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in rainbow colours last November. The challenges, the conversations, the changes… find out how Spurs came to embrace its lesbian, gay, bi and trans fans – and what comes next. Sign up here for the Zoom stream.
Trans Women in Football (7.15pm to 8.15pm)
Amid increasingly fractious discussions around trans inclusion across society, in which sport often becomes the focus of arguments made by media personalities and campaign groups, it’s never been more important to listen to the lived experiences of trans people. In this chat, FvH’s Natalie Washington is joined by fellow players Amber Evans, Naomi Reid and Sammy Walker and referee Lucy Clark. How has finding a football family helped them, and how can we all help to ensure others who are trans and non-binary can access the game? Register to attend here.
Natalie is also contributing to the preceding panel chat on the Fare Stage – ‘Deconstructing Gender In Football’ – at 6pm along with Tash Oakes-Monger, JP Casey and Blair Hamilton. Sign up here.
Murder on Zidane’s Floor (10pm to 12.30am)
The essential football club night is live and direct in your living room courtesy of Goal Diggers FC! Non-stop QuaranTunes promised and you can shake, rattle and roll with other festival goers via Zoom. Keepers between the glow sticks, no rip-off booze prices, here we go! Grab a ticket here.
If you want a warm-up, check out Richie Anderson’s DJ set live from the Nightingale Club in Birmingham from 6pm to 7pm. And if bad music is more your thing, there’s The Worst Football Song Ever! Contest from 7.30pm to 9pm, hosted by Charlton’s LGBT fans group Proud Valiants – vote for the anthem that makes your ears ache! We’re not entirely sure of the criteria yet, but is 2010’s wildly misnamed ‘Outstanding’ by Andy Cole eligible?
Of course, our selection pack of 10 is just a snapshot of all the great acts that make up the full Football Pride line-up, so feel free to ignore us and go and explore the stages yourself!
But whatever your Saturday plans, do make time to swing by the FvH site and join in. You can also grab a Football Pride T-shirt in the shop (yes, there’s even merchandise) and post on social using the hashtag #FootballPride to let others know what you’ve discovered.
Have a great festival and Happy Pride!