Get Active: Fundraisers boot homophobia out of Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 September 2015

Stephen Avery and Jamie Bartle hope to tackle homophobia in Dagenham

Stephen Avery and Jamie Bartle hope to tackle homophobia in Dagenham


Get active and help tackle homophobia at the same time during a football fundraiser raising awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Steve Avery, 26, and his boyfriend Jamie Bartle, 19, are bringing a day of tournaments, talks and penalty shoot-outs to Goals Dagenham on October 10.

Steve hopes to raise cash for LGBT campaigners Stonewall, but also to end bigotry in football.

“There are currently no professional English footballers that are out as being part of the LGBT community,” he said. “We need to find out why – is it because there aren’t any?

“Or is it because they’re too scared of the reactions they may receive from other players, fans or the media?”

Steve hopes talks in between training and tournaments will help educate people in the challenges facing LGBT people in football.

Barking and Dagenham’s LGBT liaison officer, Miles Alexander, will deliver a presentation on hate crime after a morning training session.

And Alex Perry, youth worker at Dagenham LGBT group Flipside, will also speak before a five-a-side tournament and penalty shoot out.

Steve, who also works with young people at Flipside, said Alex is an important voice for the borough’s LGBT community and both speakers will bring first-hand experience in dealing with LGTB-related issues.

“Alex has helped myself and a lot of other people deal with problems in life,” he said. “And Miles Alexander goes around the local community educating people about LGBT people and dealing with hate crime. I hope the fundraiser will help raise money for Stonewall but most importantly educate people about LGBT people.”

The fundraiser will take place at Goals Dagenham in Goresbrook Leisure park on October 10 from 10am to 4pm. The minimum donation is £1.

To find out more, search “LGBT football fundraiser” on Facebook.

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