Hitchin’s Blueharts Hockey Club lace up for Stonewall’s rainbow campaign to show support for inclusion and diversity in sport

PUBLISHED: 12:11 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:21 20 November 2018

Blueharts Hockey Club backs Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign

Blueharts Hockey Club backs Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign

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The popular Blueharts Hockey Club in Hitchin have been proudly backing the national Rainbow Laces campaign.

Teams from the well-respected club at Lucas Lane gave their support to diversity and inclusion by wearing colourful laces as part of the Stonewall UK project when playing hockey at the weekend.

The critically-acclaimed scheme aims to break down the barriers some LGBT people face when it comes to participating in sport. Many youngsters suffer from bullying and gender stereotypes, which often prevents them from taking part, particularly in team sports, as they feel they will be unwelcome.

The Rainbow Laces campaign, which runs until December 7, aims to bridge this gap and raise awareness of equality.

Blueharts president Carol Lamey told CometSport: “As part of our aim to encourage diversity and inclusion at Blueharts, we really wanted to support Stonewall’s national Rainbow Laces campaign that kicked off on Saturday.

“It’s all about supporting visibility and inclusivity for the LGBT+ community across all sports – it was fantastic to see everyone get behind it with such enthusiasm.”

Thousands of fans and athletes are lacing up this month for LGBT equality in sport as part of Stonewall’s award-winning Rainbow Laces campaign.

The campaign is made possible by the TeamPride coalition, a group of corporates and organisations committed to making sport everyone’s game.

A spokesman for Stonewall added: “It’s down to all of us to be an active ally to lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in sport. Sport has the power to bring us together. Players, athletes, teams are stronger when sport welcomes and supports everyone.”

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It’s also been a good week on the pitch for Blueharts women’s sides after all five ladies teams picked up points.

The ladies firsts beat Tunbridge Wells 2-0 away to stay undefeated and third in East League Division One South. Goals from Jay Livermore and Sarah Baxter sealed the win Vicki Bidwell awarded player of the match.

*The ladies second team celebrated a 2-1 win over Welwyn with Julie Rees scoring the first goal with an amazing airborne strike from a short corner routine before Welwyn equalised just before the break. Blueharts came out strong in the second half with the midfield of Nikki Baxter, Carol Lamey, Rosie Ross and Rachel Goward working hard. Clever set piece play from Kate Sherwood, Ella Blackmore, Anna Wallace resulted in Tamzin Wright scoring as keeper Lou Piller, and Anna Middleditch, Mia Luk, Rees and Jo Gibson in defence excelling.

*The ladies third team came away with a 2-2 draw away to Hertford seconds after a clash between the second and third placed teams in the league.

Excellent link-up work from player of the match Ally Antoniou, alongside Victoria Marsh and Sophie Featherby saw Gaia Brooker instinctively slot home for 1-0.

Blueharts continued to dominate after the break while Becky Graves, Ros David, Sophie Millett, Julie Buckland and Marsh performed well before Hertford levelled against the run of play for 1-1. It soon became 2-1 after a lucky break to the home side in this vital promotion clash.

However, Blueharts in their rainbow laces showed character by refusing to buckle and were rewarded with when Featherby slipped the ball to Marsh who hit it into Winton for an accurate tap in to cue joyous scenes to make it 2-2.

*The ladies fourth team beat Milton Keynes 2-1 while also lacing up for Stonewall.

With new squad members, the team started with high-energy and optimism, showing determination throughout.

Sophia Moir’s persistence and skills earned her a goal in the first half while Niamh Krishman continued her form with a courageous goal in the second.

Milton Keynes pulled one back while having a spell of dominance which required goalkeeper Ellen Robertson to save on several occasions.

“Blueharts ladies fifths sit comfortably in second place of Five Counties Div Five after winning 4-1 away to Stevenage sixths. Helen Ferguson, Lucy Williams were both on target with a brace of goals from Gina Joseph to secure the win.

*There was only one win in the men’s side with the seventh team going from strength to strength beating Berkhamsted 6-0 through goals from Harvey Gaunt, Bobby Bridges, Sam Tyrrell, Sam Bayley, Chris Emmott, Douglas Cree.

Are you a team in North Herts or North London that is also actively supporting the Rainbow Laces campaign. If so we’d love to hear from you. Tweet Layth on Twitter @laythy29

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