England Golf has given its full backing to the 2019 Rainbow Laces campaign and underlined the message that golf is a sport for all.
As part of Come Out Active week (23-30 November) run by the charity Stonewall, golfers across the country are being encouraged to show their support for LGBT equality by wearing rainbow laces on their shoes or displayed on their golf bags.
Many in the LGBT community live and breathe for sport, yet four in 10 think that sport isn’t welcoming.
By working together, we can help make sport everyone’s game.
England Golf is already committed to a policy of inclusivity and will continue its drive to change attitudes in 2020 by supporting a series of initiatives.
In the year ahead, we will
Provide inclusivity training and support for England Golf staff and volunteers
Conduct research to understand the current experiences of LGBT people in golf
Understand the perceptions/barriers to participation in golf by LGBT people
Create guidance for LGBT people on how they can engage with the game
Create guidance for clubs on good practice of inclusion of LGBT people
Review our guidance and policies around inclusion of LGBT people for competition within England
Executive director Richard Flint said: “Making sure golf is a sport for all is a cornerstone of the England Golf strategy.
“Golf is a wonderful game for everyone to enjoy. In a modern, sporting environment there is no place for any discriminatory barriers.
“England Golf is delighted to support the Rainbow Laces campaign and is committed to spreading a message of inclusivity through all our affiliated clubs and our staff.
“The new initiatives we are putting in place for 2020 only serve to reinforce this message.”
Stonewall encourages people in sport to challenge existing prejudices and can offer advice to anyone involved in golf when faced with a discriminatory or abusive situation.
This guidance includes the following messages:
Avoid a knee jerk reaction. Take a minute to find the right words and tone
Explain that it’s offensive to LGBT people and many others
Explain that it makes LGBT people feel unwelcome in sport
Tell them making a joke, chant or insult about being LGBT is abuse – always.
There are already many LGBT people participating in golf, but we want to pledge our support to them and anyone choosing to take up the game in 2020.
Here at England Golf we want clubs and golfers to share their Rainbow Laces images with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the #RainbowLacesDay