• Each year on Rainbow Laces Day athletes lace up their trainers to stand in solidarity for LGBTQ+ people and to highlight the importance of inclusivity, sporting values and accessibility in sport. 

  • Here we share goalball player Leo Johnson’s thoughts and experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community at Goalball UK.

Leo Johnson profile photo

Leo, you’ve been playing goalball since 2018, what is your biggest goalball highlight to date? 

I think I would say my biggest highlight to date would be achieving top male goal scorer at my last tournament! 

What do you love about the sport? 

I love goalball because its inclusive to everyone, no matter their level of sight. There is also no judgement in goalball.

Are there any other LGBTQ+ athletes that inspire you/ that you admire? 

I hugely admire Tom Daley because he always has the confidence to be himself and always does what he can to support the LGBTQ+ community. He also works and trains really hard in his diving.

Why is Rainbow Laces Day important to you? 

To me, Rainbow Laces Day is important because it is a way I can express my sexuality and who I am while taking part in sport.

What more can sporting organisations do in your opinion to ensure members of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome and included? 

I believe sporting organisations can protect LGBTQ+ athletes so that they feel safer to be themselves.

What advice would you give to any LGBTQ+ people thinking of taking up a sport?

I would tell them to go for it, there should always be a place for everyone in sport, no matter who they are or how they identify.

Thank you to Leo for sharing your opinions on Rainbow Laces Day 2022. Leo is a member of the Goalball UK Youth Forum, the #FindTheNext Goalball Academy as well as being a goalball player for South Yorkshire Goalball Club.

For further information about Rainbow Laces Day and the ‘Inclusion has no off season’ campaign please visit the campaign homepage (external link to Stonewall website)