Sport is for everybody, and while it is often said that football is slow to change, the evolution of the beautiful game has never been more important. A key pillar of this progression is inclusivity, both within sport as well as wider society. Football is a showcase with a huge platform and it is time for the sport to play its part in changing the conversation by using its power to drive this change in attitude in order to create a more diverse and welcoming environment. This is exemplified within Rainbow Blades, an LGBT+ Sheffield United supporters group who are promoting a new mentality within the sport that aims for greater equality, diversity and inclusion.
A crucial factor in this movement is making connections and gaining support from wider society outside the football club. A prime example of this is Urbana Town Planning, led by Adam Murray, a committee member and sponsorship officer of the Rainbow Blades. Urbana is a brilliant example of the ways in which local businesses can support their own communities through sport to create real change. As a town planning consultancy based in the heart of Sheffield, Urbana is armed with a wide expanse of contacts in the local and wider business community, through which the Rainbow Blades can become more visible and reach out to a wider audience.
Supporting Rainbow Blades is an excellent way of showing how to conduct meaningful interaction within the local community and demonstrating how a modern inclusive organisation should operate. By setting this trend in the professional arena, Urbana and those who choose to get involved set a benchmark for others.
It is imperative that local businesses and organisations follow suit in this way and support movements such as Rainbow Blades. Through visibility and accessibility in the local community, Rainbow Blades are able to make a crucial positive contribution to Sheffield United FC, football in the local region and in the wider sport. With a powerful backing in the local setting, Rainbow Blades and SUFC will be able to progress the football environment and create a football club that everyone in the city can be proud of.
At Whittam Cox Architects community engagement and connectivity is really important to us; we do this is many different ways. As a business of over 120 colleagues we live by our own values which define who we are, what we believe in and what we stand for. The headings for our five values are; Personal, Collaborative, Creative, Passionate and Agile.
In a modern world which should respect, encourage and celebrate every individual on personal merit, the equality and diversity agenda is hugely important. There seems to be some way to go in ensuring all corners of society have a balanced and fair perspective. Football is no exception and as a national and global sport, watched and loved by many, it seems a logical place to have a focussed effort to raise awareness and acceptance.
As a business we have extensive links to Sheffield United as their partner Architects for all aspects of the club buildings and facilities; both existing and planned. Adding the Rainbow Blades to our existing club partnership connections is something we are delighted to be associated with.
We wholly endorse the vision and mission of Rainbow Blades and are proud to put our name to this very worthwhile supporter group of Sheffield United Football Club.
As we look to the future we, like many, live in hope of a society which accepts everybody for who they are and the choices they make. Nobody should be unfairly judged through bias, stereotypes or any other discrimination. We know the Rainbow Blades will be a force for good and we will do all we can to support their journey.
We at Bond Bryan stand for equality and we stand for diversity. As designers we are, by nature, curious: we explore, we innovate, and we celebrate everything that makes us unique and individual – the diversity of those around us is the highest form of inspiration. That’s why we’re excited and honoured to be a commercial partner of the Rainbow Blades!
By supporting the LGBTQ+ community and flying the rainbow flag with pride, we hope to foster a society where all of us are accepted, praised, and admired for the things that make us individual and unique. Love is love - we stand together!