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Sport Wales Tackle Homophobia

Sport Wales have called on the sport sector to unite and make the sporting environment in the country one that is safe and welcoming to everyone.

It comes as they launch the results of new research into lesbian, gay and bisexual sports participation in Wales.

The research showed that gay men in particular were more likely than other respondents to say that sport is not a safe environment for LGB individuals.

Professor Laura McAllister, Chair of Sport Wales, said: "Let's be clear; homophobia in sport is completely unacceptable. At Sport Wales, we've made genuine commitments to making sport something that all people in our nation can enjoy; and when we say 'all', we mean 'all', regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion or disability.

"Whilst we are encouraged by the high number of respondents that are participating in sport and think that it is both fun, and important to take part in, it was also highlighted that some individuals are being turned off sport, believing it can be an unwelcoming and unsafe environment for gay people."

Conducted in partnership with Stonewall Cymru, and in a bid to better understand the sporting experiences of Wales' LGB communities, the research revealed that 94% of people who responded have taken part in sport in the last 12 months.

Jonathan Ford, Football Association of Wales Chief Executive, said:  "There should be no barriers in sport whatsoever. As an association part of our role is to break down the barriers wherever they exist; that is why we have actively supported the work being done by Sport Wales and Stonewall Cymru."

Sport Wales, Stonewall Cymru and the FAW have instigated the formation of an LGBT Network, tasked with driving participation, support, equality and eliminating discrimination througheducation and training.