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Friday, January 30, 2015

Media story from our new partner club PNE Women.





PNE Ladies strike up just a ball game? partnership



JBG? Founder Lindsay England with PNE manager Luke Podmore after establishing the link-up.
Preston North End Women are delighted to be able to confirm a partnership with Just A Ball Game? ahead of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month, next month.

The partnership will see the club become an official club partner with the organisation, who were set up to challenge homophobia in sport.

JBG have kindly presented the club with a range of their merchandise which will now be displayed at our home games with the team wearing JBG t-shirts in the warm up.

The partnership comes just days before LGBT History month, which is held every February in the UK. It first started in America, with them holding it in October every year, and over time has become more and more popular within the UK. LGBT History month is a chance to celebrate people in the past, people in the present and the future who have been LGBT.

PNE Manager Luke Podmore was one of the first people at the club to be involved with the organisation of the partnership and thinks it’s another great campaign to be associated with.

“It’s a great organisation to be involved with. Like I’ve said in the past when we’ve worked with Stonewall, football is a great carrier of messages and it’s great that we can now help them reach out to people and raise awareness of what they do.”

“Alongside us there are a few other clubs at a similar level to us that are involved with Just A Ball Game? With us being higher up the footballing pyramid, we are able to reach quite a wide audience and I think teams like us have a responsibility of passing these messages on to combat homophobia in sport. Hopefully more clubs will now follow suit and promote the good work the organisation is doing.”

PNE players Chelsea Flanagan (l) and Nikki Emery (r) with Lindsay England after the partnership was confirmed.
Lindsay England, the founder of Just A Ball Game?, believes that the partnership will already help build an ever growing list of club’s supporting the campaign.

“It’s very encouraging for another women’s side to come on board and join forces with us. It’s great that we’ve got a campaign out there that is challenging homophobia in sport and, at the same time, raise awareness about LGBT issues. The more teams that come on board, the merrier and we need to build on what we call a gay/straight alliance. It doesn’t matter to us if anybody that supports our campaign identifies themselves as LGBT or whether they identify themselves as being straight, the more people on board supporting us, the better.”

“It’s very important to us that clubs high up in the pyramid support the campaign because we all need those role models, especially in the women’s game as it’s very hard to break through in what is such a male dominated sport like football. Birmingham City are the only team in the Women’s Super League to support us and we need those role models higher up supporting what we do because it shows that people are respected in the game. Lianne Sanderson and Casey Stoney are two of the stars at international level that have  come out, along with our patron Andie Worrall, and it shows they’re not afraid of showing who they are and are also great role models for young LGBT that might be a bit shy in telling their friends or their parents. It gives them someone to look up at and aim to be like and say ‘look these people are in that environment and they are happy’ and ultimately it should lead them to become a better player or better all-round person.”

For more information about what Just A Ball Game? do, visit their website - http://www.justaballgame.co.uk/