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Stevenage supporting Stonewall's 2020 Rainbow Laces Campaign

26 November 2020

Jim Steele
Mark Sampson wears Rainbow Laces for Stevenage's match against Crawley last season

Stevenage Football Club is proud to support Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign for 2020...

The 2020 campaign runs from 26th November to 13th December and is calling on fans, players and governing bodies to visibly show their support for lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people in sport.

The campaign is backed by the EFL, the Premier League and the FA, and Stevenage Football Club is proud to be showing their support in Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match against Southend United.

Rainbow coloured substitution boards, corner flags, captain armbands and boot laces will be used on Saturday to highlight the Club's continued support for LGBT fans, players and staff across the game.

Sport and physical activity are vital to life in Britain. Sport brings our communities together and, whether we are watching or taking part, it makes our lives richer and can help our mental health. COVID-19 is having a big impact on everyone, but especially LGBT communities and. Trans people, bi people, LGBT people of colour, disabled LGBT people and LGBT people in poverty are having particularly tough time during the pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 means many of us need sport and physical activity more than ever and although sport should be a safe haven for LGBT people, too many people don’t feel welcome.

Together or apart, online or on the pitch, we need to build on our work to make sport everyone’s game.

Key stats:

Unless specified, all statistics are from Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain: Hate Crime and Discrimination Report (2017) and School Report (2017).

Sport can help with some of the challenges LGBT people face

  • Half (52 percent) of LGBT people experienced depression in the previous year. Young LGBT people (68 per cent), trans people (67 per cent), Black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT people (62 per cent), and LGBT people on lower incomes (64 per cent) experienced depression in that time. More than a quarter (27 percent) of LGBT people said isolation was a top concern for them during lockdown. (LGBT Foundation, May 2020)
  • The majority of people (65 per cent) believe exercise is helping them with their mental health during the outbreak (Sport England, April 2020) Even if we aren’t currently gathering for sport, too many LGBT people don’t think sport is welcoming.
  • More than two in five LGBT people (43 per cent) think public sporting events aren’t a welcoming space for LGBT people. (Stonewall LGBT in Britain 2017) And when we are taking part in sport together, too many LGBT people who love sport have bad experiences
  •  One in five (18 per cent) LGBT young people (18 to 24) experienced discrimination while exercising at a fitness club or at a sport group in the previous year.
  • Three in ten (28 per cent) trans people have been discriminated against while exercising at a fitness club or taking part in group sport in the previous year Exclusion in sport starts from a young age
  • One in seven LGBT pupils (14 per cent) – including three in ten trans pupils (29 per cent) – have been bullied during school sports lessons.
  • Nearly two in three trans pupils (64 per cent) say they are not able to play for the sports team they feel comfortable in.

These statistics aren't good enough and it is all our responsibility to help enact change. You can join in supporting the campaign by getting hold of your own rainbow laces.

Visit www.stonewall.org.uk/rainbowlaces for more information on that and all other aspects of the campaign. You can also show your support on Social Media by using the hashtag #RainbowLaces.

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