HARLEQUINS BECOME THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL RUGBY CLUB TO LAUNCH AN LGBTQ+ SUPPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION
One year on from the Club’s inaugural LGBTQ+ Pride Game on February 15th 2020 Harlequins has today launched an LGBTQ+ Supporters’ Association; following research across rugby and the media, the Club believe it is a global first for professional rugby. In doing so, the Club continues its mission to champion diversity within rugby, use its platform to positively influence the experience of LGBTQ+ community in sport, and continue its work to make the matchday environment a safe and inclusive space for supporters from all sexual and gender identities.
Supported by the Club, the newly established Supporters’ Association will act as a representative voice for LGBTQ+ Harlequins supporters, their families and friends, as well as allies of the LGBTQ+ community. This group will provide a social network for the Club’s diverse fanbase, be a point of contact for all supporters on matchdays, and assist Harlequins’ ongoing inclusion initiatives.
Positioned proudly alongside the Club’s official Supporters’ Association, QUINSSA, the group’s development will be driven and run by Club Members and supporters. They will promote the visibility of Harlequin’s LGBTQ+ supporter community and celebrate its pride in the Club on matchdays at The Stoop, and throughout the season. Over the coming months, the Club will help promote the recruitment of a committee for this association, but are delighted to already welcome Harlequins Members Abby Barletta, Emily Hamilton, Jack Duncan, and Nick Hackett-Peacock to the association, who will assist the Club in building the group’s framework, promoting its purposes, and selecting its official name. The Club will provide official details on how Harlequins supporters can join the association later this month but encourages anyone who is already interested to contact the Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple said: “We are delighted to launch the LGBTQ+ Supporters’ Association. It was a natural next step for the Club to ensure that LGBTQ+ inclusion is further woven into the fabric of Harlequins’ identify.
“When COVID-19 guidelines permit, we eagerly anticipate welcoming the LGBTQ+ Supporters Association at our next Pride Game.”
Henry Cox, Head of Supporter and Club Engagement, said: “Last season’s hugely successful LGBTQ+ Pride Game showed the importance of celebrating diversity within a sport known for acceptance, and it was crucial this was not just a one-off event.
“Through the creation of this group, we continue to solidify Harlequins’ position as the globally leading rugby club in matters relating to LGBTQ+ visibility and working with our supporters, will continue to use the Club’s platform to positively impact the experience of the LGBTQ+ people.”
“We wait to confirm the date of our next LGBTQ+ Pride Game, which we hope to be able to host in June, at which we will be proud to welcome and showcase the LGBTQ+ Supporter’s Association.”
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