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, 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.