This week is Dublin Pride Health and Welling Being and athletes are celebrating Pride month with the #LetsGetVisible campaign, launched by Sport Ireland and Sporting Pride.
Dr. Úna May, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland said, “Following the recent publication of our first Sport Ireland Policy on Diversity and Inclusion in Sport, campaigns such as this are an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to building a diverse, inclusive and welcoming sport sector,” according to Sport Ireland.
Alicia McConnell of Sporting Pride told Sport Ireland that the campaign is a “fun and engaging way to show support.”
Elaine Buckley is a member of the Pink Ladies Hockey team, and is participating in the LetsGetVisible campaign.
Buckley said her team has had an “unquantifiable” impact on her life.
“At the time when I joined the club I was very much struggling with my own identity, coming out, with meeting people within the LGBTQ space,” Buckley said.
Buckley said her team has provided a great social life surrounding her sport, and the team will be marching in the Dublin Pride Parade this weekend.
“To have the striking imagery and branding and kind of a cohesive message for all the grassroots clubs to share content around and raise awareness of their existence is really really brilliant,” Buckley said. “I think LetsGetVisible is doing a really good job in that regard.”
Shane Gough is a member of the LGBTQ Softball team, and is also participating in the LetsGetVisible campaign.
While running the LetsGetVisible game an experienced player from a different team reached out to Gough and asked if his team needed another player. Gough said they did not because they wanted to keep the team LGBTQ. To his suprise, this player came out to him as bisexual.
“The LetsGetVisible campaign gave him the courage to then come out…because as far as I know he was not out to many people in the sport,” Gough said. “But he was happy to come out then and be himself…and I think that kind of illustrates the power of the LetsGetVisible campaign.”
In light of the recent news surround the transgender athlete community, Buckley said she hopes this campaign inspires a change of perspective from the governing organizations for sports.
“Sport can be such a catalyst for change and it can be such a catalyst for really, really positive impact in people’s lives and it all starts at grassroots,” Buckley said.
She said the LetsGetVisible campaign does a good job of emphasising grassroot clubs that can provide support for those who might be struggling with their family, friends or even their own identity.
“...I suppose the significance of marching through the streets of your city, it is just nice to have that bit of comfort doing it with your club and doing it with your friends,” Buckley said.