Aviva Ireland has launched a new #LaceUpWithPride Campaign.

The campaigns sees them team up with Intersport Elverys and BeLonG To Youth Services to give people the chance to buy rainbow laces, in selected stores and online, from Friday 4th June 2021.

The laces cost €4.  The aim of the campaign is to raise funds for BeLonG To Youth Services, the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland.

It is an easy statement to make but one which can be especially powerful if made by those who support the principles of sport being open for all.

In recent years Sport for Business has highlighted a number of different campaigns including from Aviva, Vodafone, Bank of Ireland and others and always the strongest message coming through is when it comes from those outside the LGBTI+ community.

On 17th June we are joining forces with Sporting Pride, Aviva, Sport Ireland and Triathlon Ireland to host an online session looking at different issues facing the LGBTI+ community and how sport can be better at opening its arms.

 

 

Registration for the event is open here and free for Sport for Business Members.

Aviva brought together Irish International, Munster Rugby and UL Bohemians player Eimear Considine, with her younger sister Ailish, who plays with Adelaide Crows Football Club in the AFLW, to launch the campaign at Aviva Stadium.

“For as long as I can remember, coaches have always called on me to express myself. But not everyone feels they can express who they are on and off the pitch,” said Eimear.

“It’s important that sportspeople show their support for initiatives like this, and push for our sports to be a place where everyone can pursue their passion and feel accepted. I’m honoured to be supporting Aviva’s #LaceUpWithPride campaign. Rainbow laces are a fantastic way for sportspeople to show their support for the LGBTI+ community.”

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to be myself and feel accepted for who I am, and I don’t think I’d be the player I am today without that environment, my teammates and my family,” added Ailish.

“Whilst my experience in women’s sport both in Ireland and in Australia spotlights how inclusive sport can be, we can all do better and work harder to ensure everyone is welcome.”

“Campaigns that spotlight the role sport can play in creating wider acceptance are very valuable and I will #LaceUpWithPride on 23rd June.”

New research from BeLonG To on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on LGBTI+ young people in Ireland, revealed 73 per cent of LGBTI+ young people report their physical health has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, with 31 per cent reporting their physical health as very bad or bad.

A number of barriers are preventing young LGBTI+ young people from engaging in physical activity including mental health challenges, depression, struggles with body image and eating disorders.

Sport has a huge role to play in generating acceptance and helping to address some of these barriers to physical activity.

The campaign will culminate on Wednesday, June 23rd, when the Irish sporting community is being encouraged to #LaceUpWithPride in solidarity with the LGBTI+ community, inviting young and old alike to embrace their true selves, wearing their Rainbow laces with Pride.

“As proud sponsors of Aviva Stadium, the IRFU and the FAI, we have seen first-hand how sport can be a force for positive change to our society and wider culture,” said Aviva Sponsorship manager Lisa Bergin.

“It’s vital that sport is a place where everyone can be their true selves, and the sporting community can help make this happen. By showing their solidarity as powerful allies, our sporting community can help everyone to feel accepted and we are hopeful that people will rally together to support this important cause.”

“Pride celebrates many of the same values that we associate with sport, such as diversity, inclusion, self-acceptance and self-expression,” added Moninne Griffith, CEO of BeLonG To Youth Services.

“Unfortunately, as our research shows, sport is still a place where young members of the LGBTI+ community do not feel accepted. The #LaceUpWithPride campaign is a chance for fans, players and clubs across Ireland to show solidarity with the LGBTI+ community, and we are grateful for the support of Aviva Ireland and Intersport Elverys in bringing this initiative to life.”

We will be supporting the initiative and we hope you will too.

 

30 National Governing Bodies of Sport and over 100 of Ireland’s biggest sporting sponsors including Aviva and Elverys are among the 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across a number of key areas.

 

Sport for Business Partners