Fifteen football teams gathered at The University of Nottingham for a unique event aimed at challenging homophobia and prejudice.
Teams from across the UK took part in the Justin Campaign Football Tournament, which was being held in the city for the first time.
Organised by the University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Questioning (LGBTQ) Staff Network in association with the Justin Campaign, the event saw eight male teams and seven female teams take part in a day of sporting competition at the Sports Centre on University Park.
The Justin Campaign uses football, education, art and events to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist around gay and bisexual men and women, in both football and wider society. It takes its name from Justin Fashanu, the world’s first openly gay professional footballer, who took his own life in 1998.
The winners of the men’s tournament were the Justin Fashanu All-Stars and the runners up were Jamie’s team, a team made up of University staff. Real Sparta won the women’s tournament, with Spartalona named as runners-up. More than £290 was raised for the Justin Campaign.
Jason Hall, one of the founding directors of the Justin Campaign, said: “The Justin Fashanu All-Stars were delighted to win their first trophy in Nottingham. A lot of hard work went into the organisation and planning of the day and it has culminated with this fantastic event. The Justin Campaign would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.”
The tournament was the first event organised by the LGBTQ Staff Network, and was sponsored by Groundwork Greater Nottingham, an organisation that works with young people.
Other organisations represented included Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham Rainbow Heritage and the University’s other staff networks.
The LGBTQ staff network is one of the five Equality and Diversity Staff Networks within the University, and is open to all staff members.
It was formed in 2008 with the purpose of:
• Providing support and representation for LGBTQ staff at the University
• Helping LGBTQ staff experiencing difficulty due to their gender identity and sexuality to access confidential advice and support
• Organising social activities that encourage LGBTQ participation in the University community
• Assisting with policy development on relevant issues by providing advice and feedback to the Staff Equality and Diversity Advisory Group and Human Resources
• Increasing University-wide understanding of LGBTQ issues by organising information-sharing events and advising on staff training
• Strengthening the diversity agenda of the University by supporting initiatives to improve the recruitment and retention of LGBTQ staff.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation – School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
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