A SUFFOLK college’s football academy has shown its support for Rainbow Laces Day.
The Suffolk New College football academy has backed Rainbow Laces Day – the national campaign that promotes the LGBTQ+ football and sporting communities.
The Rainbow Laces season is taking place between October 19th and 31st 2022, with Wednesday, October 26th being the official wear your rainbow laces day.
The campaign 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.
Whilst the Suffolk New College football academy don’t have a game on October 26th because of half term, staff and players joined forces on the first day of their campaign and wore rainbow laces in an away fixture that they won 2-1 against Oaklands College.
Sam Burman, who is a lecturer in sport and football lead, said: “We are proud to support the ongoing Rainbow Laces campaign and continually champion the important message to all of our students that football is for all.
“Last year our academy students wore Rainbow Laces and they are doing the same again this time out. Intolerance in football needs to be stopped and campaigns like this (rainbow laces) are one of a number of initiatives that we support at Suffolk New College.
“We would like to thank Suffolk Football Association who we will once again be working with us this year via this campaign and others. All the lessons learnt by students during these campaigns will continually be embedded in lessons.”
Byron Fosdick, who is 17 and from Felixstowe is on a level three football studies programme. He said: “The media recently discussed the possibility of a footballer coming out during the World Cup in Qatar and if they did, I think this would inspire others.”
Seventeen-year-old Toby Salkeld from Leiston is also on a level three football studies programme. He said: “It doesn’t matter who you are and where you are from, the game is for everyone and that is how it should be.
“In terms of the campaign, I think it’s good that players and people are talking more openly about this topic, as 20 years ago they weren’t. I think wearing the laces sends out a message and I wore them proudly during our last game.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Officer (Growth) Kirsty Smith, who is overseeing the Rainbow Laces initiative in the county, said: “We are once again delighted to see Suffolk New College supporting this year’s campaign.”
Pictured above from Suffolk New College football academy are (left to right) Byron Fosdick, Sam Burman and Tom Salkeld with their Rainbow Laces.