A FOOTBALL Academy in Suffolk have shown their support for Rainbow Laces Day.
The national campaign, which promotes the LGBTQ+ football community, is running from November 25th until December 12th this year, with Wednesday, December 8th designated as Rainbow Laces Day.
To show their support, staff and learners on this sports-based programme at Suffolk New College wore rainbow laces during their match on Wednesday against Oaklands College.
They also discussed equality issues during the week as part of their programme.
Rainbow Laces Day is co-ordinated by Stonewall and first came to prominence in 2013.
The aim of the celebratory occasion is for everyone in sport, education and the world in general to wear (rainbow) laces in solidarity towards LGBTQ+ equality.
The Suffolk New College Football Academy team wearing their Rainbow Laces for their match on Wednesday against Oaklands College. Above: Members of the team display Rainbow Laces posters
Sam Burman is a lecturer at the College and Head of the Football Academy. He said: “Football should be accessible for everyone and we want all of our students to be part of campaigns that promote equality in society.”
In terms of when an openly gay player will come out in the Premier League soon, Sam said: “Hopefully it’s on the horizon. Everyone needs to be a true representative of themselves and diversity in football, sport and life needs to be supported. As a College and an academy, we are proud to back this annual campaign.”
Arthur Jenkins, who is aged 16 and from Ipswich, is on a level three programme with the college.
Arthur, said: “I think everyone should have a fair chance at everything in life and this campaign is a good thing as it celebrates diversity through football.”
In October 2020, the College got behind the Show Racism The Red Card ‘Wear Red Day’ – and Sam Burman added: “We are an inclusive college and we look forward to working with the Suffolk FA and other organisations to support events that champion equality in the future.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Officer (Growth) Kirsty Smith, who is overseeing the Rainbow Laces initiative, said: “We are delighted to see Suffolk New College supporting this year’s campaign and trust they enjoyed wearing the Rainbow Laces during their match.”