LTA to celebrate Pride Month with ‘Friday Pride Days’ at summer tennis events
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We've announced that Fridays at each of our major grass court events this month will become ‘Friday Pride Days’ in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month
We will be marking Pride Month throughout June, with the Friday Pride Day events putting a special focus on Pride and acting as a platform to raise visibility and awareness of LGBTQ+ inclusion in tennis.
The activity, which is also being supported by both the ATP and WTA, has been developed as an opportunity to celebrate inclusion in tennis and show that it is a sport where everyone can feel accepted and welcomed, no matter your sexual orientation or gender identity.
Friday Pride Day events will take place at the Rothesay Open Nottingham (Friday 10 June), Rothesay Classic Birmingham (Friday 17 June), cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club (Friday 17 June) and Rothesay International Eastbourne (Friday 24 June). Fans attending the events on those days are being encouraged to join in the celebrations and help showcase the colourful nature of the month, such as by coming dressed in bright clothes to help splash the stands with a rainbow of colours or by sporting garments featuring the Progress Pride Flag.
Liam Broady, British No.5 and world No.140 in the ATP rankings who wore Rainbow Laces during his Australian Open main draw debut at the start of the year, said: “We still live in a time when people don't always feel like they can be open about their sexual orientation or gender identity, so the more we can do to show support and let them know everything is ok the better. It needs all of us who love tennis to help make people feel like our sport is one for them, and so it’s great the LTA is helping to do that through Friday Pride Days this summer”.
The Pride Month celebrations build on the launch at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre earlier this year of Pride in Tennis, the LGBTQ+ network for Tennis in Britain, and representatives from the network will be helping the LTA celebrate Pride Month.
Speaking about their partnership with the LTA, Ian Pearson-Brown and James Swanson, Co-Chairs of Pride In Tennis, said: “Following our launch event at the National Tennis Centre in February, we are delighted to be in regular dialogue with the LTA about their ongoing inclusion efforts and are proud to see LGBTQ+ Pride Month visibility on show at such an important period of the international tennis calendar.
“Our team look forward to supporting the Friday Pride Days across the country and our continued collaboration with the LTA to make tennis in Great Britain a safe place for all.”
It is the ambition of both Pride in Tennis and the LTA to make tennis in Britain a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all LGBTQ+ players, coaches, volunteers, officials, and fans, allowing them to feel comfortable, be authentic, and be free from prejudice.
It is an integral part of the inclusion strategy for tennis in Britain published by the LTA last year, with an ambition for tennis to lead the way on inclusion and diversity in sport and an ultimate goal of ensuring the people playing, working and volunteering in, and watching tennis reflect the diversity of the nation’s communities.
Speaking about the Pride Month celebrations, Dave Hardman, the LTA’s Inclusion Development Manager, said: “It’s important for everyone to be able to feel like they can be their authentic self, and so we want to ensure we use our high-profile summer tennis events this month to demonstrate that tennis is a sport where everyone can feel accepted and welcomed. We are committed to creating a culture of everyday inclusion in tennis as part of realising our vision of Tennis Opened Up, and while we are fully aware that this needs to be a year-round conversation, the Friday Pride Days are a fantastic way to help take that message to as wide an audience as possible”.
To find out more about Pride in Tennis, visit www.prideintennis.org.uk.