The annual Rainbow Laces campaign has again been taken up by Premiership Rugby (and Football) teams, players and referees in 2019.
In the last weekend of November, the Gallagher Premiership helped to promote the LGBT+ inclusion campaign. In an annual gesture of inclusivity, the organization and it’s stakeholders pledge to ‘Make sport everyone’s game’.
Homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia remain a problem in many sports. The Stonewall organization are the beneficiaries in 2019, as they call out ‘Come out for LGBT people in sport by buying Rainbow Laces’.
The sale of laces and captains armbands will be worn, as well as during Round Five matches, Gallagher Premiership referees wore specially-designed jerseys.
Read all about it ⬇️
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) November 25, 2019
Rainbow Laces campaign taken up by Premiership Rugby
With the support of Rugby Union and Football, the two popular sports are perfect arbiters to widely broadcast the message. Each one with a unique group of fans, who have their own awareness of the Pride campaigns.
Now, with these groups’ support, the Rainbow Laces campaign can reach a wide audience. In a statement from the English Premiership said ‘Clubs and communities are stronger when everyone feels welcome, and it’s down to all of us to make that happen.’
When sport undertakes to show its support, the association produces rewards for both groups. Stonewall can gain in awareness, as well as promoting the values of equality in the community. While the sport – either rugby, football or a tournament or event – will find it rewarding.
🎁 COMPETITION TIME 🎁
We're giving away 2️⃣ tickets to the #GallagherPrem final 🤩
All you need to do is tweet us a picture, wearing your rainbow laces, using the hashtag #RainbowLaces 🏳️🌈
Best 📸 pic wins!!
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) November 30, 2019
With both men’s and women’s rugby each having their own participation and spokespeople, over the time of the campaign it demonstrates involvement and social responsibility. An integral factor in modern sport and in life, where all demographics can be openly involved.
Colorful too….the Harlequins v Gloucester match was like watching bubblegum, with rainbow laces.
📸 MATCH ACTION
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) December 1, 2019
And while LGBT equality is an awareness campaign that aims to remove anxiety and anti-homosexuality from the sport, other topics of all sectors of community involvement are also evident from the Premiership Rugby group. This includes Disabled Rugby Accessibility.
Opportunities have been delivered through the Project Rugby community program, a joint initiative with England Rugby which increases participation in rugby across traditionally under-represented audiences.
The program forms part of Premiership Rugby’s ‘Plan To Improve a Million Lives’ community strategy, which aims to positively impact the lives of a million people through rugby by the end of the 2020/21 season.
The involvement in multiple community projects, including the Rainbow Laces campaign, which is a credit to the game. But with the enthusiastic support of players, referees and the fans, that means it has full buy-in. An important, and honest factor, that is what made this 2019 campaign more than just ‘namesake’.
Read more from LWOR – see an informative look at how Football’s VAR could learn lessons from the Rugby TMO.
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