Sports industry ‘must do more to encourage LGBT+ fans at events’ – poll

·2-min read
Runners and riders on Derby Day (PA)
Runners and riders on Derby Day (PA)

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of LGBT+ sports fans believe there are not enough spaces at events created with them in mind, a poll shows, as plans were announced for drag performances at the Epsom Derby.

More than nine in 10 (93%0) say the sports industry should be doing more to encourage LGBT+ fans, according to the research carried out by The Jockey Club.

And four in five would feel more encouraged to attend major sporting events if there were spaces designed with them in mind.

This summer, The Jockey Club will unveil a “celebratory” area on The Hill on Derby Day, the first of its kind at a UK horse racing event, as part of Pride Month.

A festival-style tent with bar and DJ will also feature drag performances to make the event more “inclusive”.

Jen Loomes, head of inclusion and diversity at The Jockey Club, said: “We understand that the sports industry as a whole needs to be more inclusive … we are committed to achieving this and are starting by using the influence of one of our world famous events.

“We hope it will help people feel included and encourage more from the community to feel comfortable attending and engaging with horseracing.”

David Letts, chair of Racing With Pride, said: “We are pleased to have supported this important research and we look forward to seeing the industry consider these findings in future work.”

Drag artist Caramelle said: “The research shows it’s important to create spaces with the LGBT+ community in mind and we hope it will attract and engage people who may not otherwise come to the event. I can’t wait to embrace Derby Day with an extra splash of colour.”

The Jockey Club survey was conducted by 3Gem Research and Insights between 14-20 April to 1,000 adults aged 18+ who identify as LGBT+.