PDC To continue supporting Rainbow Laces campaign

The PDC's annual support of Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign will increase in 2023 with the use of the trans flag on stage at the Cazoo Players Championship Finals this weekend.

Stonewall's flagship Rainbow Laces campaign has become an annual celebration of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport over the past decade since first being introduced in 2013. 

This year's Rainbow Laces campaign runs from November 25-December 11, with Stonewall urging supporters to #KeepItUp and to "Lace Up To Keep It Up" as they celebrate ten years of the initiative. 

The PDC has shown its support for Rainbow Laces since 2018, which has included on-stage visibility at televised events during the campaign period.

The 2023 Betfred Women's World Matchplay saw darts break new ground when Noa-Lynn van Leuven became the first trans competitor in a televised event, as she faced Beau Greaves in Blackpool.

The PDC will now adopt the colours of the trans flag for the PDC logo on-stage at the Cazoo Players Championship Finals in Minehead from November 24-26.

"The PDC was really proud to be one of the first sports to sign up for Rainbow Laces," said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

"Darts is a sport which perhaps traditionally hasn't had the most diverse of backgrounds and participants, so it was important for us to show our support for Rainbow Laces and to show that the PDC is an inclusive space where anybody who is interested in darts, anybody who likes playing darts, watching darts, following darts can come and do so and enjoy it. 

"This year we had our first trans competitor playing on a TV stage and I think it's important to show inclusivity, that you're welcome regardless of your background - and we want you to know that the PDC is somewhere can come and feel that you're not going to have any level of harassment, any level of prejudice and you're going to be able to do what you enjoy doing, which in Noa-Lynn's case is playing darts, without any form of problem. 

"Noa-Lynn playing at the Winter Gardens made a big statement at a time when trans athletes in sport were attracting headlines, so it was important to show that Noa-Lynn's participation was something that was very welcomed.

"We wanted people to focus on her darts rather than anything off the board. It was a first step for us and one that we're sure will be followed in the future."

Dutch player Van Leuven, 27, followed up her participation in the Women's World Matchplay by finishing in eighth place on the 2023 PDC Women's Series Order of Merit during her breakthrough year.

"I'm really happy with the way the PDC is showing inclusion and showing how it can be," said Van Leuven. 

"It's great that the PDC shows inclusion in darts. It helps me to play in the tournaments but I think it also helps a lot of others to also play in those tournaments." 

The PDC are also continuing to work with Stonewall to encourage LGBTQ+ inclusion in the sport both on and off the oche.

"Sport is for all, and that does include trans people, so this is us standing in solidarity with them and trying to show them that they do have a place in sport and that there are people out there who do support them," said Huw Ware, the LGBTQ+ Ambassador For Darts. 

"Since we've started the [PDC's Rainbow Laces] campaign, I have personally felt the sport become more positive.

"I feel like I'm in a much better place now than I was four or five years ago, and that's been down to the support of everybody at the PDC." 

Adam Barkes, Associate Director of Education, Youth and Sport at Stonewall, said: "We're incredibly proud to celebrate ten years of Rainbow Laces and all the organisations who have made major strides towards LGBTQ+ inclusion.

"Over the past decade, we've seen many sports, including darts, take genuine action to champion LGBTQ+ people and make us feel welcome and included playing the sports we love.

"We should all rightfully be proud of the positive shift in attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people in darts, and we're excited to continue to support their efforts to make darts everyone's game."

For more information about Rainbow Laces or to get involved in the #KeepItUp Challenge, please visit www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/rainbow-laces

More from Sports

On Air Now Loud and Local 9:00pm - Midnight

Station Sponsor

Donate to 6TR

News

Schedule