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Equality message shared by Villa's younger generation

4 Dec 2019
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Aston Villa's Premier League Kicks participants showcase diversity work that is carried out by the club all year round

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.

Aston Villa

The recent home match with Newcastle United was an opportunity for the younger generation at Aston Villa to promote equality in the local community.

Before the fixture, a social action group formed by Aston Villa Foundation's Premier League Kicks participants raised awareness of Rainbow Laces with other supporters.

And to mark their efforts, the group were given the opportunity to be flag bearers on the pitch as the two teams walked out.

"They are explaining why those campaigns mean something to them," said Lucy Keeling, Aston Villa Foundation's equality, diversity and inclusion officer. "These are young people who are really showing initiative.

"What we want to do is ensure that through a campaign like Rainbow Laces, we are showcasing our diversity and inclusivity all year round. We don't want it to be a tick box."

Samuel Timms is the founder and chair of Villa & Proud, the club's LGBT+ supporters group, and he explained to the PL Kicks participants why the campaign and their support is so important.

"We need to realise our differences and how we can support one another so allies are a massive part of football and the football clubs themselves can make a massive change," he said. 

"We talk about generations and how things change. They are the next generation who get to go home and tell their parents and their friends that if one of their friends or a player were to come out, it's because the environment is a safe and engaging one."

Also in this series

Part 1: 'Rainbow Laces helps kids connect with the players'
Part 2: 'With Saints Foundation's support I feel like I fit in'
Part 4: When Chilwell and Maddison met Foxes Pride

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