At the Vitality Roses Reunited Series this weekend, the Vitality Roses will be supporting the 2021 Rainbow Laces campaign; a campaign that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and their inclusion in sport.
Run by Stonewall, an equality charity, the Rainbow Laces campaign is running its annual activation between 25 November and 12 December, with Rainbow Laces Day on 8 December.
The 2021 campaign encourages people to ‘Lace Up and Speak Up’; to wear Rainbow Laces at sporting events across the country in support of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, but to also speak with friends, family, colleagues, teams and clubs about the cause, to create a broader, louder and more impactful movement.
To help support the cause, the Vitality Roses will be lacing up this weekend at the Vitality Roses Reunited Series where they will play Jamacia’s Sunshine Girls in the final two games of the series.
Vitality Roses and Stonewall Sport Champions, Stacey Francis-Bayman and Nat Panagarry, spoke to Stonewall about LGBTQ+ equality in sport.
Francis-Bayman said: “Through my own personal experiences and engagement with others, I understand how incredibly important it is to have diverse representation in sport.
“My hope is that my confidence in being my authentic self and sharing my story with others, creates a platform for any minorities/person to feel that they can do the same.”
Panagarry also said: “LGBTQ+ people still face massive barriers when trying to enter and participate in sports which makes me really sad.
“I want sport to be a safe space for everyone to be whoever they want to be and embraced for that.”
At England Netball, we have an ongoing commitment to ensuring netball is a sport for all. In September 2021, we published our Diversity and Belonging Report to help improve diversity at every level of the game.
We look forward to celebrating LGBTQ+ members of the Netball Family this weekend and into the month ahead.
To discover more about the campaign and find out more about how you can support the campaign, visit Stonewall’s official website.