Eastbourne tennis fans invited to be part of Friday Pride Day

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Eastbourne tennis fans are being urged to get involved as the LTA announces that ‘Friday Pride Days’ are returning to its grass court tournaments this summer, celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month and raising awareness of LGBTQ+ inclusion in tennis.

After two years, which have seen significant progress made in driving the visibility of LGBTQ+ communities in tennis, the Friday Pride Days will continue to put LGBTQ+ visibility front and centre, showing that tennis events, and the sport as a whole, are safe, open and inclusive spaces, breaking down barriers so that everyone can feel welcomed and accepted, no matter their sexuality or gender identity.

Friday Pride Days are taking place at each of the LTA’s tournaments this summer,. There will be courtside Pride branding on umpires’ chairs thanks to agreements with the ATP, WTA and ITF tours, and our commercial partners; officials, ball crews and staff will be offered rainbow laces and wristbands to wear; and the Pride Progress Flag will fly above centre courts across the summer.

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The LTA is also calling on fans to join in the festivities, dressing up in bright colours and accessories to show their support on the Friday Pride Days. At the cinch Championships in London, and the Rothesay International in Eastbourne, which starts a week today, fans will be able to purchase LGBTQ+ inspired merchandise, with the money raised going to the LTA Tennis Foundation, the LTA’s official charity, to help them improve lives through tennis.

Devonshire Park will host one of the LTA's Pride Fridays | GettyDevonshire Park will host one of the LTA's Pride Fridays | Getty
Devonshire Park will host one of the LTA's Pride Fridays | Getty

The LTA is proud to continue its work with Pride in Tennis, the LGBTQ+ network for tennis in Britain. Representatives from the network will be at every LTA summer event, raising awareness and answering any questions fans have about LGBTQ+ inclusion in tennis, how to engage with local LGBTQ+ tennis groups and venues, and what they can do to show their support as allies. The LTA is also working with the network to tell stories of the positive impact of tennis in LGBTQ+ communities in Britain.

James Swanson, Chair of the Pride in Tennis Network, believes the continued support of the LTA for the visibility of LGBTQ+ tennis is vital. “The importance of such visible support from the LTA for LGBTQ+ inclusion in tennis cannot be overstated.

"In a short space of time, significant progress has already been made to make tennis feel more welcoming and accessible for those in LGBTQ+ communities, and the development of this nationally-focused allyship through the Friday Pride Day initiative continues to show to LGBTQ+ players, volunteers, officials, and fans that tennis is actively working to ensure tennis is a safe and inclusive space.”

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Dave Hardman, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy Manager at the LTA, said, “The LTA is making strong progress in achieving its vision of Tennis Opened Up and ensuring tennis is seen as a safe space for those from LGBTQ+ communities.

"Through our Friday Pride Days, and our work with Pride in Tennis year-round, supporting their Rally Allies workshops focused on educating clubs and venues on LGBTQ+ inclusion, and through telling the authentic stories of tennis’s impact in LGBTQ+ communities across Britain, vital work is going on to make sure people can be their authentic selves in our sport.”

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