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England Touch Association announces official partnership with Pride In Touch

Here at the England Touch Association we are delighted to continue our commitment to improving LGBTQ+ participation and inclusion within Touch by becoming the first National Governing Body to join the Pride In Touch Partnerships Programme.

Pride In Touch is an organisation aimed at improving LGBTQ+ participation in Touch across the world. Their Partnerships Programme gives NGBs, clubs, coaches and referees the support, training and accountability to make genuine improvements in the way Touch is delivered to LGBTQ+ participants.  

In becoming an official partner, CEO Chris Simon has signed the Pride In Touch Partnerships Charter, setting out the commitment that the England Touch Association (ETA) will uphold. 

These include taking active steps to involve LGBTQ+ people in Touch and to challenge any behaviours that do not ensure a positive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ people in our sport. 

Other key elements of the partnership will see Pride In Touch support the ETA in areas of governance and strategy related to LGBTQ+ inclusion, deliver board and staff training, work together to mark days of significance and run shared events. 

It also includes a financial commitment to support Pride In Touch in their ongoing work. 

We are pleased to also share news that the inaugural Pride In Touch tournament taking place in London on July 3rd will be an ETA endorsed and affiliated event and we look forward to it taking its place as part of our annual events calendar.

Jane Sabugueiro is a Non Executive Director on the ETA board and sits on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) working group. 

She commented: “Pride In Touch has offered huge support to the ETA through the recent publication of our transgender, non-binary and gender diverse policy and this partnership marks a continued commitment from us as an organisation towards LGBTQ+ inclusion, an important part of our EDI strategy.

“We are delighted to have joined the Partnerships Programme and look forward to working with Pride In Touch who have already done a lot of work to ensure that our sport is inclusive, welcoming and open to all.”

Co-founders of Pride In Touch, Nick Heath and Tom Hall, are excited about building on their existing relationship with the ETA and the impact it can have on the sport in England and beyond. 

"By joining the Pride In Touch Partnerships Programme the ETA are showing how serious they are about LGBTQ+ inclusion and their commitment to building on the positive steps they have already taken to welcome our community and share the benefits that Touch offers," said Hall. 

“We’re hugely proud of the ETA for making this commitment and look forward to seeing the valuable outputs our partnership will deliver. 

Heath added: “We believe Touch will become a leader in LGBTQ+ inclusion amongst grassroot and elite sports, not just in England but globally, and this partnership brings that vision one step closer.” 

About Pride In Touch

Pride In Touch is an organisation aimed at improving LGBTQ+ participation in Touch across the world. The organisation is led by Nick Heath and Tom Hall who are both active players and organisers of touch. Both Nick and Tom are part of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Pride In Touch is supported by volunteers and specialist organisations including Pride Sports. 

Their Partnerships Programme is a key part of a strategy to make demonstrable changes within the sport to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Pride In Touch also promotes LGBTQ+ visibility through their iconic playing vests and are currently undertaking research around the barriers to LGBTQ+ participation in Touch, a first of its kind for the sport. 

To keep up to date on Pride In Touch activities follow their Instagram @PrideInTouch. 

Contact info@prideintouch.org for more information on the organisation, to learn about volunteer opportunities or to enquire about joining their Partnerships Programme. 

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch