UK Athletics launch the first ever Athletics Pride Network

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UK Athletics have announced the launch of a new Athletics Pride Network for the LGBT+ community – partnering with several organisations.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

UK Athletics (UKA) claims it was a perfect time to launch this new network, due to the current outbreak of Covid-19.

Athletes from the LGBT+ community will be facing barriers already and during this time things might only get harder – isolation could trigger loneliness and neglect.

Ethan Akanni had said to Sky News: “Having already come out as gay to my school friends, I came out fully to my family and within my athletics environment too – and doing that lifted a different type of pressure off me.”

Ethan is one of the newest members of the network.

UKA is advising athletes to become involved during the lockdown. They plan to arrange a meeting when restrictions have been lifted.

“Athletics is the most diverse sport globally. UKA are committed to ED&I, we therefore need to ensure that anyone from a protected characteristic is welcome to our sport, whether you are an: athlete, spectator, coach or an official. This network is there for the LGBT+ community and LGBT+ allies so we can address any inconsistencies with what we believe in at UKA,” said Donna Fraser, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead.

The aims of the network are:

  • Improve access to athletics for LGBTQ+ people.
  • Be a support network for LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ allies.
  • Challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in athletics.

So far the initiative has received great feedback since the launch and increased from five core members to 20 members.

Among those members are Great Britain athletes Corinne Humphreys and Tom Bosworth.

Donna Fraser added: “We as an organisation are committed to the creation and enhancement of an inclusive culture. I’m delighted that we have so many people from within the sport who are driving this forward and asking us to provide support to get this network up and running,”

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