Athletics Union Launches Inclusive Sport Campaign
Date posted: 10 October 2012
Become a Part of It, an inclusive campaign aimed at breaking down barriers and increasing the participation of women, people with a disability, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals in sport has been launched by the University of Derby Students' Union.
The campaign kicked off when all 33 of the Union's sport clubs, along with the University's Vice-Chancellor, signed the Sports Charter - a government led initiative which aims to combat homophobia and transphobia in sport.
Athletics Union President, Mark Farthing, said: "By signing the Sports Charter all of our clubs have reaffirmed their core values of inclusivity. We have seen LGBT students compete for Team Derby for a number of years, some of whom have gone on to become our highest performers.
"We are dedicated to protecting the rights of our students and will continue to promote the opportunities Team Derby can provide regardless of gender, skin colour or sexual orientation."
The University of Derby is in full support of the Athletics Union campaign. Its Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Coyne, who was present at the unveiling to sign the Sports Charter on behalf of the University said:"This is not something the University has pressured its students to sign. Instead this campaign illustrates the values of our students and how they are considering not only how they can make things better for themselves but also, how they can make things better for their peers. That is what it means to be a student here as a part of Team Derby."
The strength of feeling for inclusivity in sport is integral to all the clubs within the Athletic Union and they have all shown full commitment to the Charter.
Jack Anderson, University's Men's Football Club President, said:"This campaign doesn't have to just be the LGBT students promoting it amongst themselves. Everyone in the club is now aware of the issue and every other committee seems keen to support it and promote it as well."
The campaign is being further supported by a video released on UDSU's YouTube page which highlights the discrimination of LGBT athletes across the world.
This charter forms part of a wider agenda regarding sport for students in further and higher education across the country. The NUS are currently promoting their 'Out in Sport' campaign as part of its commitment to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport through a series of focus groups and surveys. Data collated from this study will also prove valuable to the UDSU in furthering their own campaign.
A special panel discussion 'Football versus Homophobia; Is football ready for an 'out' gay player?' is being hosted at the University' Enterprise Centre on Monday October 22 and will have representatives from Kick It Out, the University of Derby, Derbyshire FA and Derby County FC.
For more information contact Mark Farthing at firstname.lastname@example.org or to support the campaign and sign up to the Charter for Action 'like' the 'I love sport, but I hate homophobia and transphobia' Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/lgbtsportcharter
You can watch the Team Derby Sports Charter video at http://youtu.be/wgdZYOXf3NE