“Why is it important to celebrate Pride within student sport?”

As Global Pride Month draws to a close, our committee reflect on the importance of Pride in today’s society and considers the significance of its celebration within student sporting communities:

"It is important to celebrate Pride in student sport as it enables all to participate in sports that we all love and enjoy. It raises awareness for the LGBTQ+ community and helps to promote the equality that is sought after in today's society. Furthermore, celebrating Pride is crucial for allowing individuals of all backgrounds to feel comfortable and safe wherever they are and doing what they enjoy."

- Calum Cumming (Men's Captain)

"It's incredibly important to celebrate Pride in student sport. Certain sports, and particularly mens' squads, tend to be hypermasculine environments and can often dissuade LGBTQ+ individuals from coming out due to stereotypes that remain all too prevalent in today's world. LGBTQ+ men especially find it hard to come out to their fellow team-mates due to these stereotypes and the hyper-masculine environments that can exist in sports. Furthermore, trans athletes recieve a huge amount of prejudice and their involvement in sports is much debated. As a result, trans students may feel like they cannot join a sports club whilst at university, and if they do they may not be accepted into the club as a cisgender athlete may. Without Pride in student sport, there is little provision for young adults within their sports to feel supported in their sexuality or gender identity, and their mental health could and would suffer. Celebrating Pride within student sport therefore would send the message to LGBTQ+ participants that they are accepted and that their sexuality and/or their gender identity is not a factor limiting their participation in the sport or acceptance within their squad and the club overall." 

- Thomas Nelson (Club Master)

"Celebrating Pride within student sport is important to encourage accurate representation of the diverse student population and to celebrate how far inclusion has come across sport as well as acknowledge how far there is to go. As a culture we want to promote, celebrate and nurture an environment where people are comfortable to be themselves and where sport can enhance the student experience."

- Ellie Leeder (Incoming President)

"It could be easy to take the celebration of Pride within our rowing communities and the wider university network for granted. However this level of visibility for the LGBTQ+ community is still relatively novel. From my first year in 2016/17, there was little to no recognition of this celebration in either setting. I can't imagine the profound influence of seeing that level of acceptance and support back then, as a young gay newcomer to university sport. It makes me extremely hopeful for the future of student sport, in particular rowing within Scotland. However, there is still a great deal of progress to be made, most pressingly for our trans sisters and brothers who face an unprecedented level of scrutinyand persecution in today's society"

- Matthew Simpson (Outgoing President)

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