An inclusive rugby tournament tackling hate crime in sport has been hailed a success.
The Hadrian Cup Rugby Tens tournament, now in its tenth year, took place at Percy Park in North Shields to raise awareness of hate crime in sport.
It was hosted by the Newcastle Ravens rugby union team who are an inclusive club made up predominantly of gay players.
They joined other teams participating in the tournament by wearing multi-coloured laces in support of Stonewall’s rainbow laces campaign.
Representatives from Northumbria Police’s LGBT+ Association were also on hand to offer their support while Chief Constable Winton Keenen presented the Ravens with the top gong after they won on home turf.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: “There is no place for hate crime on the rugby pitch, on any pitch, or anywhere in society and we are committed to tackling it.”
Detective Constable Matt Murray, co-chair of the Force’s LGBT+ Association, said the tournament sends a strong message that hate crime is not welcome in sport.
He said: “This is now the tenth time this tournament has taken place and as a Force we were incredibly proud to again be involved in such a fantastic event.”
“Equality and inclusivity are key components of modern day policing and it’s so important that we show our support for projects like this.
“The tournament is all about inclusivity and because the teams taking part are inclusive, people can be free to be themselves as individuals and express themselves as they wish.
“Sport doesn’t discriminate and this ties in perfectly in with our messages around hate crime and the work we are doing across the whole Force area.”