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WATCH: Inverness event hopes to boost inclusivity for LGBTQ+ community in sport across Highlands

By Federica Stefani

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Group photo of both panels in front of the audience. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Group photo of both panels in front of the audience. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A night celebrating the LGBTQ+ community in sport saw personalities from all backgrounds come together to raise awareness on inclusivity in sports.

The event called Seen & Heard Live was the first live event in Inverness born from a podcast series in partnership between Pride Of The Terraces, LEAP Sports and Highland Pride.

On the evening, two panels explored LGBTIQ+ inclusivity in elite sport and community building.

Organiser and Inverness Courier reporter Andrew Henderson said: "We had many people coming along, some great questions from the audience, the discussions were really fascinating and people had great stories to tell. I couldn't have asked for more!

Picture: James Mackenzie.
Picture: James Mackenzie.

"I think we had some great conversation about trans and non-binary inclusion in sports and personally, a highlight for me would be bringing this event to Eden Court. I am so thankful to them for working with us and hosting the event – it added a layer of prestige to what was a really important conversation.

"The really fun and important bit about tonight was that we had a range of different experience from all levels of sports and many different backgrounds in terms of where people were from, the sports they were engaging with and how they identify.

"No two-people stories are the same, but particularly when talking about minority groups such as the LGBTQ + community, it's really important to get a range of different perspectives, and I think we did that tonight. "

He said he hopes that people in the audience will be able to bring home more inclusive practices discussed on the night.

"Sport should be for everybody and there are a lot of ways to make that happen and a lot of steps that need to be taken – but the way forward is practice what they preach, care about the people at their clubs and make sure that they are open to anyone no matter their backgrounds."

Talking about inclusivity in elite sport were Jamie Bowie Team Scotland and GB 400m and 4x400m silver medalist), Blair Hamilton (Post Graduate researcher for the University of Brighton, specialising in trans athletes) and Kayleigh MacKenzie, who is midfielder for Inverness Caledonian Thistle WFC.

The community building panel saw founding member of Paddling with Pride Cairngorms and Inverness Craig Dunain RFC player Julie Partridge join Fitness with Pride, Ant Collesso, and Graham Munro from Out & About in the Highlands

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