Skip to main content
Media centre

Raising awareness with Rainbow Rounders

08 August 2019 @TeessideUni


The third annual Rainbow Rounders tournament was hosted at Teesside University to promote diversity and inclusivity in sport.

The tournament involved teams from Teesside University, Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police, Hart Gables charity which offers support to the LGBT community, MFC Foundation and the North East Ambulance Service.

Philippa Scrafton, Stonewall programmes officer for the North East, who was invited to launch the competition and present the trophy to the winning team, said: 'It is about working towards LGBT inclusion and engaging communities, which events such as this succeed in doing.

'It is great to see so many allies coming together to offer support, it has to be applauded. It is about education and positive conversations.'

The event also helped to promote Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, which uses campaigns and sporting activities to raise awareness and ensure no lesbian, gay, bi or trans people feel excluded from taking part as a fan or teammate.

Teesside University is among the country’s top 50 employers for LGBT+ staff, positioned at 47 in the Stonewall Equality Index 2019. Teesside is one of just five universities in England and the only university in the North East to be featured in the top 50. Stonewall, the lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity annually produces its list of the country’s top 100 employers.

Angela Ramage, Accommodation Manager with the University’s Campus Services, said: 'It has been a great event with the teams coming together to show support for LGBT equality and inclusivity in sport. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and have no place in sport or society in general.'

It has been a great event with the teams coming together to show support for LGBT equality and inclusivity in sport

Angela Ramage, Teesside University

Adam Thomas, who captained the Cleveland Fire Brigade team, said: 'Events such as this help to break down barriers and bring people together. We wanted to be here to show our support.'

Wayne Munday, captain of the Hart Gables team, said: 'It is an important message and it is great to see so many allies involved.'

Emma Burrow, who captained the North East Ambulance Service team, said: 'It is great be involved in a fun event which has such an important message. It’s also been great to get involved alongside other organisations.'

Mike Oakley, captain of the Cleveland Police team added: 'Events like this provide a great opportunity to engage with the whole community. It helps to break down barriers and bring people together.'

MFC Foundation won the trophy in a well-fought final with Teesside University. Claire Streeter, who led the wining team from MFC Foundation, said: 'I think people will take away a lot from this event. It was a really great experience with a lot of partnership, networking and showing that sport is equal and everyone can take part.'