Thursday, 8 December 2011

Exeter City striker to coach Devon's only gay-friendly team

Exeter City Football Club striker John O'Flynn will take on a new role this Sunday.

O'Flynn, in his role as Exeter FC's One Game One Community (OGOC) ambassador, will run a training session for players from the Devon Lions football team on Sunday in Exeter.

The Devon Lions are Devon's first and only gay-friendly football team. The team represent Devon in the Gay National friendly league.

The training session, which will be held in the city, has been organised by Exeter City's OGOC group, which operates under the umbrella of Exeter City's Supporter's Trust.

The aims of the group are to address all strands of equality including race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs. The group works closely with Exeter City FC and its Community Trust to promote a positive and inclusive outlook.

This approach has been endorsed by O'Flynn, who said: "Football should be about bringing people together whatever their backgrounds."Let's help make Exeter City a true community club welcoming to all be they young or old, black or white, male or female, gay or straight, disabled or able-bodied, with faith or without."As they saying goes - united we stand; divided we fall."

Exeter City FC marked its commitment to equality and diversity in October by making its clash with Rochdale its OGOC/Kick it Out fixture. Kick it Out is a national organisation aimed at ending racism and other prejudice in the game.

Devon Lions was formed in February 2009 and since then has provided a non-judgemental environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and heterosexual players to enjoy playing football.

The club takes pride in promoting equality and social inclusion whilst fighting prejudice in society.

It has worked with The Justin Campaign, which opposes homophobia in football.

Richard Cowell, Devon Lions Secretary said "This is such a fantastic step forward to have a Football League club helping make a stance against the homophobic prejudice still seen in the game.

"Exeter City have been incredibly welcoming of our prospect and cause and it sets an example to the rest of footballing world: that we can make a stand against the abuse regularly seen at clubs up and down the country".

Devon Lions FC are always on the lookout for new players, supporters or volunteers, so no matter how experienced you are, you will be made to feel welcome.

For further information about Devon Lions please contact the committee on

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