Cleethorpes Town Ladies have become the first club in Lincolnshire to complete the Lincolnshire FA’s new LGBTQ+ Accredited Club Programme and were awarded their certification of completion and rainbow armbands on Tuesday 25th April.
They received their Accreditation certificate from Jordan Mason (Football Development Officer – Disability & Inclusion) and Zack Leader (LGBTQ+ Ambassador).
The Lincolnshire Football Association’s LGBTQ+ accreditation framework is for clubs in Lincolnshire to demonstrate the steps they are making to be an inclusive environment for those that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ Community.
The Lincolnshire FA Vision (One Lincolnshire Community, United and Inspired by the Power of Football) is built on the foundations of unity, inclusivity, and acceptance. Our goal is for all football in the county and beyond to be an environment where every player, coach, referee, spectator, or volunteer can enjoy the game and feel comfortable in being themselves, without fear of discrimination.
An inclusive club is one where all members can be their true selves without fear of discrimination or judgement, and instead feel welcomed and valued. A truly inclusive club will see an increase in both enjoyment and performance.
Hayley Hare, Club Secretary at Cleethorpes Town Ladies, said: “The programme is important to us as being an all-female section, we wanted to make sure all females felt comfortable coming to play football, and we could show that we are an inclusive club”.
“We ensure all our coaches and welfare officers are aware and up to date on LGBTQ+ education and information and are approachable. We get information out to parents and players too. It’s important to us that all females know that if they come to our club, there is always somebody there they can approach to talk to if they would like to”.
“All clubs should definitely complete it. It shows that you’re an inclusive club and will encourage more people to want to join your club. It can make the difference. It’s not a hard process to show people the paperwork and to ask them to sign it. It was an easy process, very well worth doing.”
“There’s a growing need for education. Even myself, we’d like to think we know it all, but we don’t and I think times are changing very fast, and we need to make sure we are inclusive and we know all the information. We need to be informed and know how to talk to people”.
Jordan Mason, Football Development Officer (Disability & Inclusion) at Lincolnshire FA, said: "We know how important it is to ensure that there are LGBTQ+ Inclusive spaces in football, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to play football irrespective of who they are. It's fantastic to see Cleethorpes Town Ladies become Lincolnshire FA's first LGBTQ+ Inclusive Accredited Club. Hayley and the rest of the club have been committed since they first attended our LGBTQ+ Inclusion workshop, and the culture at the club is apparent from the moment you arrive. They are the embodiment of inclusive football and it's a testament to the incredible volunteers there that are committed to driving LGBTQ+ Inclusion and tackling discrimination in football."
For more information on our LGBTQ+ Accreditation Programme, and how your club can begin the process, click below: