Sheffield Rainbow Laces movement started in February 2019 with the first Sheffield Rainbow Laces Tournament held at GOALS. The tournament was open to everyone. We had 32 teams, different genders and sexualities. Raising awareness around LGBT+ inclusion in sport, primarily football and awareness and money for SAYiT. This engaged Sheffield and surrounding communities and gained media interest. The tournament will happen again in 2020.
Off the success of this we held our 2nd event the Sheffield Rainbow Laces Cup at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. This was billed as South Yorkshire V Derbyshire and was all male to highlight the major problem around LGBT+ in the male game. The event had players in personalised shirts with a message of LGBT+ inclusivity in sport, a local sponsor, like the tournament attracted media attention, around 80 spectators and a full match day feel. Like the tournament the event raised money for SAYiT.
We will replicate both events in 2020, grow them and continue to increase our presence within local communities. We will look at what other charities we can support and how we can engage other LGBT+ football organisations such as Kick It Out, Fans for Diversity. After listening to feedback from both events we would like to involve and have support from Sheffield United and explore what work we can do together in 2020.
Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign was created to give sports people a simple way to show their support for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in sport by wearing rainbow coloured shoelaces. Sports clubs, teams and athletes across the world have been getting involved to run the campaign in their sport or activity. The campaign has been supported at the highest levels by Aviva Premiership Rugby and Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Manchester United. The Rainbow Laces campaign is a way for everyone involved in sport to show their support for LGBT+ equality and inclusivity.
To find out more https://www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/rainbow-laces