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'Rainbow Laces helps kids connect with the players'

2 Dec 2019

Find out how Leah Stone of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation raises awareness of LGBT+ issues in the local community

The Premier League is backing the Rainbow Laces campaign and our clubs work throughout the year to support the LGBT+ community. We looked at some of the work they do.

Tottenham Hotspur

Leah Stone is the LGBT+ co-ordinator for the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the charitable arm of the north London club.

Her job is to help educate and inform about LGBT+ issues and awareness, not only in the Foundation, but in the local community as well.

This can be in a local primary school in the London borough of Haringey, where she uses the Premier League Primary Stars Rainbow Laces PSHE resources to educate the schoolchildren about attitudes and welcoming people of all types.

"We go to the primary schools to help spread the messages of equality and to make sure that the kids know that anyone can participate in sport," she says. "As long as you've got the passion and the love for it, then it shouldn't matter about anything else."

Raising awareness

The rainbow laces the children receive and put in their shoes not only raise awareness of the campaign but promote the support for it and help the kids to identify with the Premier League players who will do the same in the matches during the Stonewall campaign.

"We learnt that we don't always have to follow all the stereotypes," said one schoolchild at North Haringey Primary. "The laces show that it's fine to be different and they look really nice as well."

Leah's role also includes staff awareness training and helping to run LGBT+ inclusive football sessions and tournaments.

In the evenings, she works closely with the London Romans, a local LGBT+ friendly football team, who also enjoy coaching from Leah and her Foundation colleagues.

"Football should be everyone's game, no matter your sexuality, gender orientation, race, religion," Leah says. "As long as you love the game, that doesn't matter. There should never be any barriers for anyone.

"My hopes for the future? That roles like mine won't need to exist.

"At some point, that will just be embedded across everyone's ethos and just naturally in the way that people work."

Also in this series

Part 2: 'With Saints Foundation's support I feel like I fit in'
Part 3: Equality message shared by Villa's younger generation
Part 4: When Chilwell and Maddison met Foxes Pride

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