College speaks out in support of rainbow laces campaign
The Suffolk New College football academy in Suffolk has backed Rainbow Laces Day – a national campaign that promotes the LGBTQ+ football and sporting communities.
The Rainbow Laces season takes place between 19 and 31 October 2022 with Wednesday 26 October 2022 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 26 October 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 last week.
Sam Burman is a lecturer in sport and football lead. Sam 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. 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 the 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, 17 from Felixstowe is on a level three football studies programme. Byron 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.”
Toby Salkeld, 17 from Leiston is also on a level three football studies programme. Toby 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.”