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Rainbow Blades Wins National Award

Last month Rainbow Blades won the Football Supporters' Association Fans for Diversity award. This national win is huge achievement for Rainbow Blades and a testament to the hard work over the past 2.5 years.

Amy Hood, United's equality, diversity and inclusion manager and James Laley, Rainbow Blades founder, attended the ceremony at the Nubu Hotel in central London. The award was presented by Anwar Uddin, head of the Fans for Diversity campaign and the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire.

Over the past couple of years Rainbow Blades have worked with United on successful Rainbow Laces campaigns, created professional films championing the power of allies and welcoming trans Blades, engaged with players and forged inclusion at Bramall Lane. Members, groups, organisations all speak very highly of the group and the changes are not just felt at S2 alone but across the country.

Laley says: "To be shortlisted and invited down to London was a win, but to go on and win the award is truly a remarkable moment for our group and the club. Over the past two and a half years we have grown this supporters' group to be one of the largest, now standing at over 550 members. More and more LGBTQ+ Blades are now empowered to be their authentic selves, allies continue to be visible and the club have been a shining example of how to support and work with a football supporters' group. The support from the boardroom, through the club staff, coaching team and players has only strengthened over time. It's a relationship built on respect and trust. I am so proud to be a Blade, so proud of Rainbow Blades, so proud of our inclusive club. This win is for everyone associated with Rainbow Blades, everyone who has supported us. We are making a difference. United for All."

Amy Hood, United's EDI manager, added: "It was a pleasure to have been able to attend the FSA Awards with James on behalf of the football club, further amplifying the hugely positive relationship Rainbow Blades has with Sheffield United. Having worked closely with James for the past two years, it's been incredibly pleasing to see Rainbow Blades go from strength to strength, as well as all of James' and his committee's hard work being recognised. We are extremely proud of Rainbow Blades and will continue working hard to make Sheffield United accessible, inclusive, and safe for everyone. The Fans for Diversity Award is more than well-earned and I'm so happy to see Rainbow Blades receiving the wider recognition that they deserve. A very proud moment for all involved."

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