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CITC celebrates Rainbow Laces campaign with inclusive workshops and fixtures

CITC celebrates Rainbow Laces campaign with inclusive workshops and fixtures
City in the Community (CITC) has been working hard to spread the message of inclusivity throughout this year’s Rainbow Laces campaign.

Coaches have been adapting sessions across a range of CITC projects to help educate young people about allyship, and how they can help to make their community more welcoming for all.

Participants from Premier League Primary Stars, Inspires (High School), BTEC, City Careers and Young Leaders were able to take part in workshops and discussions, as well as PE lessons which were adapted to include Rainbow Laces messaging.

WATCH: Rainbow Laces CITC campaign

This year’s initiative – which is ran by Stonewall UK and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community through football - kicked-off on Thursday, 25 November, with Manchester City’s Premier League fixtures against West Ham United and Aston Villa both dedicated to the campaign.

The overriding theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Lace Up, Speak Up’, centring on the concept of ‘allyship’ and supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

Elsewhere, CITC also welcomed two inclusive football teams in Manchester – Village FC and Manchester Laces – to the City Football Academy to take part in a discussion and tournament with staff and Manchester City’s Official LGBTQ+ Supporters Club, Canal Street Blues.

Those who took part were able to converse about how football can be a tool for bringing people together and why it’s important to make sport as inclusive as possible.

CITC HR Manager, Nat Ingham, takes on a leading role in helping to embed EDI activity within the charity each year.

Commenting on the Rainbow Laces activity, she said:
“Everyone at CITC is passionate about ensuring that football is a level playing field and can be enjoyed by all members of the community.

“This year, we are proud to have embedded the Rainbow Laces ethos of ‘Lace Up and Speak Up’ into our delivery, in the hope that we can drive meaningful change through conversation and allyship.

“We would also like to thank Village FC, Manchester Laces and Canal Street Blues for joining us in conversation and competition earlier this week; it was a hugely enjoyable but also beneficial for all involved.”

Helen Hardy, Founder of Manchester Laces, said: "I think it’s great that City in the Community is asking the question and they’re encouraging us to have conversations about inclusivity – it shows an intent that they really want to make change happen.

"What’s been really impressive is that there’s been lots of CITC staff members here around us today, asking us questions about our experiences. We never really usually get that.

"CITC are going into these spaces delivering and working with young people, so the fact that they’re asking us for our input just shows that you’re really listening and that you really want to make change happen.

"I’ve learnt as much from the CITC staff as they have from us at Manchester Laces!"

To find out more about the Rainbow Laces campaign, as well as ten top tips on how to become an ally, visit www.stonewall.org.uk.

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