BSUK seeks new members for LGBT Advisory Panel

Tue 24 Jul 2018

BaseballSoftballUK is seeking new members for its LGBT Advisory Panel.

Since the group was founded in May 2017, the Panel’s insights and advice have brought BSUK to the forefront of the sport development community in terms of LGBT projects and understanding the needs of LGBT playing members.


Founder members

There were six original founder-members of the Panel who established the group's aims and ambitions.  Although only one of the original six members is left, three new members with an interest in helping to shape the future of the baseball and softball LGBT playing community have joined.

Luis Arrevillagas, who chairs the panel on behalf of BaseballSoftballUK, said, “We are really grateful to the members that started the panel and who dedicated a year to its development.   And it's great that we have new members who have applied for a position on the Panel having heard about the work we are doing.  Now we want to add even more new members to get more ideas and continue to lead in this area.”

BSUK and the LGBT community

Softball in the UK has a long history of being a welcoming and inclusive sport for members of the LGBT community, and this is supported by a survey carried out by BaseballSoftballUK in 2016, which suggested that 14% of softball players identify as LGBT, compared to roughly 8% of the population as a whole.

LGBT players are spread throughout a playing community of more than 24,000 people in cities and towns around the UK.

Out of the 49 sports recognised by Sport England, baseball/softball is the only sport that has agreed growth targets with Sport England for LGBT members, showing that Sport England believes we have a unique opportunity to engage and benefit the LGBT community.

Over the past year, the LGBT Panel has:

  • Developed a set of playing rules which are inclusive of LGBT and non-binary people.
     
  • Helped shape the targets for BSUK’s development plans.
     
  • Responded to queries regarding LGBT players and opportunities.
     
  • Published blogs on our websites and in a well-known magazine.
     
  • Attended conferences and events, such as Trans Pride Brighton, to promote the sports.

Current work

There are no limits set for BSUK’s LGBT Panel, and any idea is potentially a good one. 

The Panel is currently working on developing a guide to including trans and gender non-conforming people in baseball and softball, as well as setting up LGBT tournaments in various regions of the UK and helping with ideas to deliver the targets that BSUK has agreed with Sport England.

Excellent relationships have been formed in the last year to support the Panel’s activities.  The Panel continues to work with Lou Englefield from Pride Sports in Manchester, has met with Stonewall, is in touch with Birmingham LGBT, has met with the Diversity Manager for Sport England, and works very closely with the Raiders Softball Club in London.

Requirements

The Panel meets in person three times per year as agreed by the members.  In between, we exchange emails on the projects we are working on and we set up small work groups as necessary, based on the interests of Panel members.  We encourage people who want to make an impact in our LGBT community to get involved as much or as little as they want.

We have members from London, Manchester, Edinburgh and other areas from the baseball and softball communities and we also welcome people who may not play our sports but have an interest in developing LGBT sport.

If you are interested in being part of BaseballSoftballUK’s LGBT Panel, please complete this short form by 30 August 2018:  https://bsuk.wufoo.com/forms/z1ljqgp10s56h9j/.

You can have a look at the Panel's website page on: http://www.baseballsoftballuk.com/lgbt.

If you prefer to speak to someone before you complete the form, please get in touch with Luis Arrevillagas

The Panel’s next meeting will be towards the end of September in BSUK’s London office.

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