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1st December 2017, 13:08 | Widnes
Widnes Vikings is delighted to become the first Super League club to support leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity, Stonewall, the organisation behind the ‘Rainbow Laces’ campaign.
As part of this ground-breaking move, the Rugby League club will proudly feature the ‘Rainbow Laces’ logo on the reverse of their 2018 primary and alternative shirts. The Vikings will also celebrate equality and diversity in sport through a dedicated 2018 Betfred Super League match day, which will include Vikings stars taking to the field wearing Rainbow Laces as well as a host of fan engagement opportunities.
Activities extend off the pitch through the club’s award-winning Vikings Sports Foundation, who will use Stonewall’s resources to deliver innovative equality and diversity sessions in secondary schools across Cheshire and Merseyside backed by Crowdfunding.
The Vikings made the announcement during Stonewall’s 2017 Rainbow Laces Campaign Week (running from the 24th November to 3rd December).
This commitment with Stonewall is part of a holistic effort by Widnes Vikings to use rugby league as a vehicle to promote a more inclusive society, ensuring that sport is accessible and welcoming to individuals from all backgrounds.
Widnes Vikings have been recognised as one of the UK’s leaders in delivering social change through sport, and have been recognised for their work at the prestigious 3rd Sector Care Awards and Super League Man of Steel Awards.
Richard Munson, Commercial and Community Director at Widnes Vikings, says: “Widnes Vikings are proud to support for Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. As a Club, we have a genuine commitment to promoting equality, so are keen to back this important campaign. We are excited to introduce Rainbow Laces to the Super League and to make a visible commitment of our support, by featuring the logo on the first team’s playing kits.”
He continues, “We are looking forward to dedicating a fixture to the campaign. This will see our players, partners and supporters come together to proudly express that there is no place for homophobia or discrimination in our sport. I would like to thank the team at Stonewall for their support in developing this special relationship.”
Joe Mellor, Co-Captain of Widnes Vikings, says: “Rugby League is a sport that everyone should be able to enjoy, so we are pleased to be able to promote Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. We are proud to see our Club make a real statement about inclusivity by featuring the logo on our shirt and inviting players to wear Rainbow Laces in an upcoming Super League fixture.”
Robbie de Santos, Head of Campaigns, says: ‘Having this level of support and this level of visibility is incredibly important. We know that sport brings people together and it has the power to change atttiudes. We’re really excited to start working with the Widnes Vikings to make that change happen and to show that sport is everyone’s game. We know most people believe anti-LGBT chants and abuse are a problem, so we’re calling on everyone to pick up Rainbow Lace and to proudly show their support for LGBT people in sport.’