Celebrating LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Sport and Recreation – A special evening with sport leaders and LGBTQ+ champions launching SportingQueer

SportingQueer exhibition ()

Last night at the British Olympic Association offices – home of Team GB and Paralympics GB – sport leaders, LGBTQ+ sporting individuals and allies came together for a special evening to launch #SportingQueer: a unique photography exhibition showcasing LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion across sport and recreation.

Hosted by the incredible Courtney Buchner - influencer, actress, and self-proclaimed ‘sporty queer’ - guests for the first time saw this special project, made by Sport and Recreation Alliance in partnership with WeAre and photographer Fiona Freund and supported by Investec and Link.


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James Swanson and his friends posing with his Pride in Tennis portrait


The exhibition showcases portraits of members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community participating in a variety of sports and recreation - including tennis, athletics, motoracing and ballroom dancing – from the grassroots to the elite, with swimmer Michael Gunning and sporting legend Dame Kelly Holmes DBE OLY among those photographed.


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Courtney Buchner facilitating a panel discussion with Farrah Herbert, Hamid Vaghefian, Ethan Akanni and Natasha Coates.


As part of the event, we also heard about the work organisations are undertaking to make sport and recreation more inclusive and accessible, as well from some of the individuals starring in the exhibition, speaking to their experience engaging with and participating in sport and recreation as LGBTQ+ people and allies. A brilliant panel discussion closed the evening, with speakers including transgender triathlete and LDNRiders Ride Captain Farrah Herbert, Para Disability gymnast Natasha Coates, elite hurdler and co-founder of Athletics Pride Network Ethan Akanni and Head of Community Engagement for London Marathon Hamid Vaghefian.


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Ethan Akanni sharing his story during the panel discussion.


Sport and recreation is and should be for everyone. Our aim with SportingQueer is to shine a light on our sector and the work that is being done to make it a more diverse and inclusive space, particularly for those from the LGBTQ+ community. SportingQueer, by highlighting individuals and organisations, provides a platform to showcase and hear the stories of role models and leaders making a difference for the LGBTQ+ community in and through sport, from grassroots to elite.

The event fires the starting pistol on work to come. The exhibition will be hosted digitally on the Sport and Recreation Alliance's website, and watch this space for more in depth coverage and discussion on the topic in the months ahead.



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Attendees admiring the portraits of Shannon Struthers from Investec and Olivia Peace from Team GB.