Woodton United LGBT Inclusive Club

Norfolk County FA's first affiliated LGBT Inclusive Club

Woodton United FC to become the first Norfolk County FA affiliated LGBT Inclusive Club

Woodton United FC to become the first Norfolk County FA affiliated LGBT Inclusive Club

The Rainbow Laces Campaign, established by the LGBT Rights Charity, Stonewall, was developed as a way to show support for LGBT equality and inclusion from those involved with sport.  During this year’s campaign Norfolk football has come together to provide an impressive display of support with a large number of football participants wearing the rainbow laces. However, Woodton United FC wanted to go one step further in support of LGBT equality and inclusion at their club.

Norfolk County FA and Woodton United FC have been working together closely to establish the club as an LGBT inclusive club. During this time Norfolk County FA developed a framework that all clubs could work towards if they wanted to become an officially accredited Norfolk County FA LGBT inclusive club. The idea of the framework is to guide clubs towards completing tangible, positive actions as well as identifying a clear inclusive ethos for any club who wished to achieve this award. A brief outline of the criteria is listed below:

  • Have a club equality statement that details the ethos of the club and outlines the club’s aims around LGBT inclusion that must be displayed on the club website and publicised via their social media platforms. This can include commitments to language, behaviour and creating a welcoming atmosphere 
  • Display inclusive posters provided by Stonewall to publically demonstrate your commitment to inclusion within your club 
  • Use Stonewalls “no bystanders” campaign to help individuals at your club to take a stand against hateful language and discrimination. 
  • Club Officials, Players and Coaches to sign agreement of LGBT inclusion

Woodton United FC are now in the final stages of completing the steps to receive our official accreditation and will be receiving a visit from Norfolk County FA Chairman, Michael Banham, to present them with their award in the near future.

Norfolk County FA Chairman, Michael Banham:

“It is excellent to see the work Woodton United FC have done in the promotion of LGBT equality and inclusion being recognised. We are proud to be working closely with the Club and supporting them with completing the relevant steps in becoming Norfolk County FA’s first affiliated LGBT inclusive club. I am looking forward to being able to visit the club and congratulate them on their efforts.”

Woodton United FC Secretary and Player, Zak Nelson:

"We wanted to do this to allow LGBT+ players to know that there is a safe space to come and enjoy playing football. We don't want to have to officially announce ourselves as LGBT inclusive, but we're still in a time where people feel the need to use derogatory and offensive language towards people of that community, especially within sport, and more specifically football. Our overall aim is to encourage more and more clubs to do the same so that it becomes the norm, thus allowing LGBT people to feel welcome and accepted as who they are."

Rachel Cossey, Senior Football Development Officer (Inclusion):

“It has been great working with Woodton United FC who have been so proactive in promoting LGBT inclusion in Norfolk football. It would be naïve not to say that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done within football as a whole to address discrimination and to promote inclusion. I hope that Woodton United FC’s work will pave the way for other club’s to follow and that this is another stepping stone towards ensuring that everyone feels accepted within football irrespective of their identity.”

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of Woodton United FC and become a Norfolk County FA accredited LGBT inclusive club, then further details can be obtained by contacting Rachel Cossey on Rachel.Cossey@NorfolkFA.com.