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🏳️‍🌈 Chairman of Devon County Council backing Exeter Rainbow Laces campaign

20 October 2022

The Chairman of Devon County Council says he is proud to be supporting Exeter City's campaign promoting greater inclusion in football.

Councillor Ian Hall and his wife Maria are attending Saturday's game and will be wearing colourful rainbow laces to show their support.

Today Exeter City is supporting Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign to "Lace Up and Speak Up" for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans or Queer (LGBTQ+) inclusion in football.

The campaign, which includes the wearing of rainbow coloured laces, aims to create a broader, louder and more impactful movement for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, with the hope that every conversation will move a step closer to achieving the ambition of making sport everyone's game.

This year's Rainbow Laces campaign runs from October 19 to 31.

Mr Hall explained that the theme for his term of office are Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, and, underpinning all of these is the golden thread of Mental Health.

Ian and Maria said that they have had the absolute honour of being guests at LGBTQ+ events and say they will "continue to raise awareness that diversity is something to be celebrated and our differences actually enrich society".

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Cllr Hall played football until he was 44 years old and he is passionate about the power of sport to bring people together and to empower individuals.

Ian said: "I believe that sport should offer a safe and inclusive environment for everyone within our communities, and I will continue to challenge prejudice and discrimination as we move on a journey away from ignorance."

Ian said he was not to a high enough standard when he wrote off for trials with ECFC in the 80's, but he and Maria say they are "proud to help fly the flag for Exeter City FC and for all who live within our Devon communities".

Volunteers from Proud Grecians, Exeter City's LGBTQ+ and allies Supporter's Group, the club's One Game One Community Group, Exeter Pride and Isca Apollow, the Exeter LGBT+ friendly football team and the Westcountry Wasps Inclusive rugby team will hand out laces and stickers to some of those attending today's game.

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In addition, rainbow corner flags will be used, the team captain's will wear rainbow arm bands and announcements will be made.

Exeter City has a long history of supporting rights for all, including taking a stand against homophobia for more than 10 years by supporting the annual Football v Homophobia initiative each February.
Exeter City's One Game One Community Group is part of the national Kick it Out campaign which aims to address all types of discrimination in football, including race, disability, gender, age, religion and sexual orientation.


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