York’s Boat Club have started a ‘rainbow wellies’ LGBT campaign

They’re the first boat club to do so

York’s Boat Club have started wearing rainbow coloured wellies to coincide with the launch of their new LGBT policy.

One of the biggest sports clubs on campus, UYBC, have created a new LGBT policy. Pride Sports, an LGBT sports organisation were consulted in the drafting of the policy and Stonewall who are responsible for the rainbow laces campaign, have been key collaborators.

The policy will be available on their website from February 28th and they encourage other sports teams to follow their lead and add similar policies into their constitution.

UYBC President, Nick Brightman, a third year sociology student told the Tab: “Most of the wellies that our members have are just a plain single colour so our rainbow wellies really stand out. The rainbow colour scheme has long been associated with LGBT pride to great effect and the way in which our wellies stand out is a great way of showing our support.”

Alex Ighalo,  a third year Law student, came up with the idea.

He said: “The campaign was partly inspired by Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign. We loved the Rainbow Laces campaign but as rowers have no use for laces (the boats come with fitted Velcro strap shoes), so we decided to do our own version. We chose the month of February because in the UK February is LGBTQ History Month.

“However we didn’t simply purchase the wellies for their practical benefits or to just emulate Rainbow Laces. The wellies are tied to something more. They represent the club’s brand new LGBTQ policy. The policy includes provisions on gender pronouns, bullying, homophobia, changing rooms, and highlights a variety of methods available for LGBT individuals to resolve incidents which may arise or make them feel uncomfortable. This radically alters our constitution.

“So the wellies represent the clubs commitment to diversity and continued efforts to ensure that everyone feels welcome at the club regardless of their sexual identity or gender identity.

“The policy was drafted by myself in collaboration with Stonewall. The campaign was filmed and photographed by a member of the club. And everyone in the campaign is also a member of the club.

Currently Stonewall, BUCS and the University of York Student Union have agreed to support the campaign.”

Nick added: “We’re incredibly pleased with the positive reception that we’ve had, we’ve heard that several other boat clubs across the country are thinking of adopting rainbow wellies as well to show their support for the LGBT community which is incredibly exciting to hear.”

UYBC have been nominated for sports club of the year and Alex has himself been nominated for sportsman of the year and the equal opportunities award.