DURHAM students are leading a campaign to axe discrimination in sport.
The city’s Students’ Union has signed the Government-led charter aiming to eliminate homophobia and transphobia in sport at Durham University.
Led by the union’s community officer, Grace Abel, and receiving backing from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Association at the union, along with the university’s sporting body, Team Durham, the signing of the charter is a significant move for Durham University students.
Grace said: “We aim to take a stand against prejudice in both sport and in the university as a whole. The signing of the charter signals a clear step forward in eliminating this unacceptable behaviour.
“As a body, we strive for inclusivity of all people and we want all Durham University students to feel they can participate in sport, no matter what their background.”
The Government’s sport charter has been developed to specifically tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport, making sporting activities welcoming to all.
Katie Reynolds, president of the LGBT Association, said: “LGBT students in Durham have been campaigning for their sports teams to sign the charter for a long time so it’s great to see Team Durham finally get behind it.
“It is important to remember that this is a long term commitment to equality that will benefit students in years to come, not just a one-off, so I look forward to positive changes being made.”
The signing of the charter took place at Maiden Castle with Dan Slavin, Durham Students’ Union president, signing on behalf of the union and Hannah Lowther, president of Team Durham, signing on its behalf.
The move was part of a larger week long campaign by the Students’ Union, Respect Irrespective, which aimed to tackle a variety of stereotypes.
Grace said: “The whole week was created to get Durham University students thinking and discussing everyday prejudices and to give them the confidence to take a stand against this kind of behaviour.”