Social events including a picnic in Endcliffe Park, an evening at local board games café Treehouse and a day out at Chesterfield Pride allowed members to stay in touch over the summer and a gathering at Lykke gave members the chance to check out the venue Rainbow Blades use for their matchday socials when it was less busy.
Outreach work has also been ongoing, with Rainbow Blades taking part in Pinknic, Sheffield’s largest city centre LGBTQ+ event, alongside Sheffield United Community Foundation. Members carried a Rainbow Blades flag along Fargate as part of the unity walk before interacting with the public at the Sheffield United stall. Fans enjoyed meeting former Sheffield United women’s player Ellie Wilson and taking part in a keepy-uppy competition.
In another large-scale summer project, Rainbow Blades suggested forming a regional alliance where local LGBTQ+ supporter groups can share best practice. LGBTQ+ fan groups from Leeds United, Mansfield Town and Rotherham United have pledged their support, alongside Rainbow Owls and Rainbow Spireites, the newly launched LGBTQ+ supporter groups for Sheffield Wednesday and Chesterfield FC. Rivals on the pitch, comrades off it!