Harlequins announce a new Limited Edition LGBTQ+ Pride Supporter Kit ahead of the landmark Investec Champions Cup match against Toulouse.
Harlequins has teamed up with Principal Partner DHL and the Club’s Technical & Retail Partner Castore to create a Limited Edition LGBTQ+ Pride Supporter Kit ahead of its blockbuster Investec Champions Cup tie against French rugby royalty Toulouse on Sunday 17 December 2023.
The kit is the latest example of Harlequins’ on-going support for and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, and kicks-off a range of activities to promote representation and champion inclusion in rugby, including two dedicated LGBTQ+ Pride fixtures at The Stoop – Harlequins Men vs Leicester Tigers (Friday 26 January) and Harlequins Women vs Sale Sharks (Sunday 4 February).
The LGBTQ+ Pride-inspired design was created with partner Castore and its primary black design incorporates the various colours of the LGBTQ+ Progress Flag in a subtle yet strong design. A special LGBTQ+ DHL brand logo is incorporated into the design of the kit – the first time this has happened in rugby and a demonstration of commitment to inclusivity from Principal Partner DHL. The kit will be worn in training by both Harlequins Men’s and Women’s teams and pre match for the LGBTQ+ Pride fixtures.
Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple commented: “Harlequins and its partners share a firm belief in breaking down barriers and creating a Club for all, so we are delighted to be launching the new bespoke LGBTQ+ Pride Supporter Kit at such a high-profile match against one of the most iconic teams in world rugby.
“With a sold-out crowd at The Stoop and a big global TV audience for the match, we wanted to give the launch of the kit the maximum exposure possible. We look forward to our supporters showing their support for the Club and the LGBTQ+ community by wearing the new kit with pride.”
As part of the launch, Principal Partner, DHL, will be sending 100 of the kits to partners, advocates, and influencers across the world to create a global connection to the LGBTQ+ Pride Supporter Kit and further amplify its release.
Rick Jackson, DHL Group EVP Engagement & Enablement and DEIB Lead added: “As one of the most inclusive international companies in the world, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is at the heart of everything DHL does and the new kit perfectly encapsulates this.
“We share Harlequins ambition of creating places where everyone belongs and by delivering the new LGBTQ+ supporter kit with pride globally, we have a unique opportunity to promote this important message across the world.”
Harlequins Inclusivity Club Partner, the Kings Cross Steelers Rugby Club (the first LGBTQ+ inclusive rugby club in the world) and Harlequins’ Official LGBTQ+ Supporter Association, Quins Pride (the only supporters’ association of its kind in English rugby), were both supportive of the initiative and its launch.
Harlequins and DHL has invited Nigel Owens, to unveil the shirt ahead of kick-off in front of international media and a sold-out Twickenham Stoop stadium this weekend.
Emily Hamilton, Chair of Quins Pride said: “In a time of unprecedented danger and increased hate crimes against the LGBTQIA community, providing welcoming and safe spaces for people to get together, enjoy sport and find family is more essential than ever. I’m proud that Harlequins have led the way in creating an inclusive environment where we celebrate our uniqueness but also share a common love of our wonderful team and sport.
“Quins Pride and Harlequins are proud to welcome everyone to our home to enjoy rugby and friendship. Wearing our community colours combined with the badge of the club we all love is a great way to show your support and demonstrate your commitment to being the most inclusive club in world rugby.”
Commenting on the announcement, Matt Webb, ex-Chairman of the Kings Cross Steelers said: “The new kit will create visibility and it’s important that people can wear clothing that they are comfortable in. It’s not just about those from the community wearing the shirts, it’s about having those from outside of the LGBTQ+ community showing that everybody is welcome.
“A lot of people feel incredibly safe and secure coming to a Quins match and this means a lot to all supporters. Everybody should feel welcome in rugby, and by supporting and wearing the shirt, supporters will show that they are an ally. And allyship is something that’s really, really important.”
The Limited Edition LGBTQ+ Pride Supporter it will be on sale from the Club shop and online from Thursday 14 December.