AVIVA call on footballers to #LaceUpWithPride
Following on from a hugely successful #LaceUpWithPride campaign last June, this month’s campaign gives people across Ireland another chance to buy rainbow laces, with all profits from the sale of the laces going to LGBTQ+ youth charity, Belong To. Aviva Ireland will also make a €10 donation to Belong To for every new Aviva Home Insurance policy taken out in June. Rainbow laces are available to purchase from www.aviva.ie/pride. Aviva is a longstanding partner of the charity and has donated over €160,000 to the organisation since 2017.
Aviva Ireland was joined by Shamrock Rovers footballer Jack Byrne, Birmingham City FC and Republic of Ireland women’s international stalwart Jamie Finn and Leinster Rugby’s Jack Dunne as the sports stars from across Irish Rugby and Football came together to help drive the message of positive change for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2021, #LaceUpWithPride saw over 1,500 laces sold raising vital funds for Belong To, the national LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) youth organisation.
Over the last twelve months, sport has shown time and time again its ability to unite people from diverse backgrounds, no matter their ability, gender, sexuality or ethnicity. In June of last year, the Irish sporting community rallied under the #LaceUpWithPride banner, showing their colours in support of the LGBTQ+ community. However, there still remains significant discrimination at all levels of sport in Ireland, with use of homophobic slurs in reference to on-field actions or practices a particular problem.
Aviva Ireland, along with Belong To is now once more calling on the wider sporting community to #LaceUpWithPride once more to help promote an environment of diversity and inclusion for all.
Speaking at the launch, Lisa Bergin, Sponsorship Manager at Aviva Ireland, said: “It is a privilege for all at Aviva Ireland to show our support for Belong To, and the wider the LGBTQ+ community again this year with the #LaceUpWithPride campaign. It is an honour to be supported in the launch of this campaign by stars from across the Irish sporting family, showing their true colours and character at the home of Irish Rugby and Football. By choosing to #LaceUpWithPride this month, Irish sport can show that there is a place for everyone on and off the field of play. In a year where we have seen first-hand the power of sport, we are hopeful that people will rally together to help raise much needed funds to support the crucial work of Belong To.”
Moninne Griffith, CEO of Belong To, also commented: “We are grateful for the support of Aviva Ireland as we team up with them to #LaceUpWithPride again this year. As evident in our Life in Lockdown research, LGBTQ+ young people are experiencing high levels of isolation. More than half of LGBTQ+ youth surveyed told us they are not fully accepted in their home environment. Family rejection, feeling unaccepted, and a denial of identity can result in loneliness, stress, anxiety, and more complex mental health challenges.
Through our frontline work with LGBTQ+ youth, we see the confidence playing sport can give to young people who need it most. That said, we can all do more to ensure that Irish sport is a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community. By choosing to #LaceUpWithPride, together we can show LGBTQ+ young people that there are spaces for them to come together and be who they are. I would like to thank Jack, Jamie and Jack for issuing the rallying call today, and I would encourage all who can to get behind this year’s campaign – let’s all #LaceUpWithPride this June.”
Republic of Ireland International footballer, Jamie Finn, added: “Ahead of a massive month of Irish sport, I’m delighted to partner with Aviva Ireland for the launch of this year’s #LaceUpWithPride campaign. The support of my teammates and the solidarity we share on and off the pitch has always allowed me to express myself in football and in life. This campaign also gives our supporters the chance to get involved, lace up, and show why they are the best fans in the world.”
The rainbow laces are available from www.aviva.ie/pride for €4, with all profits going to Belong To.
The #LaceUpWithPride initiative is part of the wider Pride Month 2022 plans by Aviva’s active Pride Community. Aviva Pride is a resource group for people within the company who believe it’s important to spend energy being yourself, not hiding it. For the month of June, Aviva Pride will be celebrating the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community by sharing educational resources and creating fundraising opportunities.
For more information on the campaign, and to keep an eye on upcoming activities throughout the month of June, please visit: www.aviva.ie/pride