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  • 13 June 2014 00:00
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New charter launched in Wales to tackle homophobic discrimination in sport

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A new charter promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in sport has been launched by Welsh Culture and Sport Minister John Griffiths.

The charter is designed to make sport welcome, safe and free from discrimination for the LGBT community with schools, clubs and national governing bodies from across Wales being urged to sign up to it.

Those that do sign up will be committing to a vision of a thriving LGBT sporting community within Wales while the charter asserts a zero tolerance approach to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

It has been drafted by the LGBT Sport Cymru Network which was established by Sport Wales in the wake of research conducted in partnership with Stonewall Cymru. 

The research revealed encouraging findings with 94% of the respondents having taken part in sport in the last 12 months. 

Three quarters of lesbian, gay and bisexual people heard homophobic banter with a third experiencing exclusion from their sport of choice.

However, it also highlighted that 72% of those asked said they would be more likely to participate in a club if it was marketed as LGBT friendly and organised its activities on this basis. 

The network is comprised of organisations including Stonewall Cymru, Mardi Gras as well as sports bodies such as the WRU and FAW.

"I congratulate the LGBT Sport Cymru Network on the outstanding work they have undertaken in producing this Charter,” said the Welsh Culture and Sport Minister.

"I believe a zero tolerance approach to homophobia and transphobia in sport will ensure that LGBT communities have access to all sporting arenas and feel safe, welcome and free from discrimination.”

Professor Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales, has also hailed the charter as a breakthrough for sport in the country. 

"We want every child, young person and adult hooked on sport in Wales and we mean ‘every’ – we cannot and must not lose a generation of people to sport because they don’t feel welcome.

"As a modern, forward thinking sector, sport can make a difference. 

"The sector must make sport inclusive, welcoming and a safe place.

"We can all take stock and think about what we can do differently and, when appropriate, challenge the behaviour of others where it falls short.”

To read the research findings and the charter, Click Here 
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