Widnes Vikings launch ‘EQUALise’ project

Widnes Vikings have announced the launch of ‘EQUALise’, a new flagship community project which aims to spread messages of equality, diversity, and inclusivity in schools across the region through the power of rugby league.

The project, which will be delivered by the clubs charitable arm, the Vikings Sports Foundation, will be the first of its type to be delivered in rugby league, and add to an already diverse range of agendas the Vikings deliver against which includes obesity, education, mental health and loneliness. Set to commence next month, the project will engage over 1,000 children from thirty schools in its first year across Widnes, Runcorn and Liverpool.

‘EQUALise’ has been developed off the back of the club’s partnership with the leading lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, Stonewall, which has seen their Rainbow Laces campaign logo proudly adorn the players kit throughout the 2018 season. The Rainbow Laces campaign is a way for everyone involved in sport to show their support for LGBT equality and inclusivity. National teams, leading clubs, athletes, fans and grassroots players are lacing up to Come Out for LGBT people in sport. In 2017, the campaign had its most successful year yet with over 75,000 pairs of laces distributed across all areas of sport leading to 12 million adults seeing the campaign.

To enable ‘EQUALise’ to be delivered to as many children as possible across the North West, the Vikings are launching a crowdfunding effort to raise the funds for the Vikings Sports Foundation to deliver at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/-vikings-equalise-project. The project will focus on educating young people around equality and diversity in sport, challenge gender stereotypes, tackle bullying, explain language, celebrate difference, and most importantly promote role models.

Commercial and Community Director for Widnes Vikings, Richard Munson, said: “Firstly, what a great honour it has been for Widnes Vikings to wear the Rainbow Laces logo on our shirts this year. The values that the campaign stands for are really important in today’s society, and the messages of inclusivity and acceptance should be spread as wide as possible. We have developed our ‘EQUALise’ project to ensure that there is a lasting legacy from this partnership here in Widnes, where the award winning coaches from the Vikings Sports Foundation will be engaging young people in local schools in conversations that promote equality and diversity and raise awareness of LGBT rights. This is the first time the Foundation has utilised Crowd Funding and we are grateful to all that donate towards it.”

Director of Sport for Stonewall, Kirsty Clark, commented: “We’re delighted to see Widnes Vikings support our Rainbow Laces campaign to embed inclusion across all they do. It shows they understand that creating an accepting sporting environment is everyone’s responsibility and we’re pleased Vikings is promoting just that.”

Source & Image : www.widnesvikings.co.uk

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