Academy host competition for LGBTQ+ History Month

Supported by Mateusz Klich and Burley Banksy.

Academy LGBT banner.jpg

The Leeds United Academy have engaged with numerous age groups, families, parents, and coaches throughout LGBTQ+ History Month delivering training workshops and hosting their very own competition.

LGBTQ+ History Month takes place throughout February and is an annual month-long campaign and observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

The campaign has been running since 1994 and the club, Academy and Foundation have all undertaken activities to help mark the occasion, educating members of staff, young players, and charity participants around the history of the LGBT community.

One of the educational activities undertaken by the Academy included a workshop delivered by avid Leeds United supporter and local artist ‘Burley Banksy’ with our young players tasked with designing their very own 'Banksy Boxes' incorporating the LGBTQ+ community.

With over 40 entries for the competition, first-team player Mateusz Klich was then on hand to create a shortlist and after much consideration chose eight different entries that could be in with the chance of winning. Each youngster whose entry made it to the shortlist were also given a special prize in the form of a signed copy of his own artwork that can be seen outside Elland Road.

The Poland international commented: “It’s really important for young footballers to make sure they have other interests and hobbies outside of playing – for me, art really helps me to relax away from the pitch. I hope that this competition inspires the young players in the Academy to feel comfortable in expressing themselves in everything that they do going forward.”

The final step of the competition was for Burley Banksy himself to choose an overall winner, he noted that it was a very difficult decision with some fantastic entries to choose from, but the striking colours and simple message of ‘We Are Together’ chosen for one of the boxes was given the ultimate prize. This design will now be recreated in the local community on one of his own ‘Banksy Boxes.’

Well done to all of the youngsters that took part in the competition, for their hard work and openness to learning more about LGBTQ+ History Month and the importance of equality, inclusion and diversity.

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