Rainbow Laces Day on Wednesday 8 December plays a pivotal role in highlighting the importance of sport for all. Representing inclusion across all sports, it encourages the sporting industry to assess what they have done for the LGBTQIA+ community, and what can be done in the future.

This year’s theme is ‘Lace Up and Speak Up’, prompting tangible action and change. On this note, over the next two weeks, BUCS will sharing stories from students who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. We will be giving them a platform to share their experiences of sport at university; and what it is like to identify as LGBTQIA+.  

We will also be making the Women’s National League and BUCS Super Rugby double header between Hartpury and Durham, on Wednesday 8 December, a flagship Rainbow Laces fixture. Both the women’s and men’s games will be livestreamed, providing exposure for the campaign to not just a university audience, but the wider rugby fanbase. We are also delighted to announce that Craig Maxwell-Keys, one of the first openly gay referees in rugby – and a role model to many - will be officiating the men’s game. 

Jenny Morris, Director of Delivery said: “We are looking forward to supporting Stonewall’s ‘Lace Up and Speak Up’ theme within this year’s  Rainbow Laces campaign. This is because we are strong believers in sport being for everyone.  

It is important that all students feel comfortable in their teams and sporting environments, and the Rainbow Laces campaign goes beyond just showcasing athletes and prompts real change. Together with universities, we must focus on being fully inclusive, not just accessible, and practice and showcase this all year round until it becomes the norm.” 

Stonewall statistics show that 43% of LGBTQIA+ feel unsafe and unwelcome in sport. At BUCS, we are trying to change this. We’d encourage all university teams to participate in the Rainbow Laces campaign, and Stonewall has put together an activation available to download here, and you can also find out about their offer of £1 laces here.  

If you do have a story to share, we would be delighted to share it. Please contact us here

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