Posted: August 18, 2017
Pride on the Clyde is a new project by Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club and LEAP Sports. Clydesdale ARC values diversity and is working hard as a club to promote a cohesive and inclusive environment, where people feel comfortable and accepted. LEAP Sports has been at the forefront of facilitating acceptance in sports such as running, football and rugby in Scotland. Clydesdale ARC are taking part alongside LEAP in the Glasgow Pride weekend festival - aiming to change the image of rowing by promoting the sport as inclusive, fun, and welcoming.
Rowing is an old and traditional sport. Unfortunately, the wider public perception of the sport is still that it is elitist and exclusive. Clydesdale is actively trying to change these perceptions by demonstrating that, at Clydesdale, rowing isn’t just for people from elite universities or private schools, but is an inclusive sport, that creates a fun and accepting community where members share a common cause: their love and passion for rowing and the river. To promote their support and inclusion for LGBTQ, Michael Lekakis created Pride on the Clyde.
Michael Lekakis is an active member of Clydesdale ARC and one of the out gay members. Michael’s sexual orientation has no impact on his identity in the club. He is a respected coach and rower who has taken the lead on initiating Clydesdale’s participation in Glasgow’s Pride festival. Michael is not alone, as many volunteers including Miki Lee Dale have put in a lot of effort to support Clydesdale’s involvement in Pride.
Besides taking part in the Pride parade, Clydesdale is working with LEAP Sports and will have members of the club promoting the sport, and Clydesdale itself. At the Pride village, visitors will be able to try rowing on machines, and on the water. Those who take an interest in rowing will be given further information as to how they can join and continue their learning.
Clydesdale Rowing Club is not only a historical landmark in Glasgow, but it is a forward thinking community club, and initiatives such as this are paving the way for other clubs to follow. Through Pride on the Clyde, Clydesdale ARC is the first rowing club to take part in the Glasgow Pride festival. Not only does Clydesdale ARC hope to change the image of rowing, but to promote diversity across the Scottish rowing community. Whatever your age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or ability, Clydesdale welcomes all and cannot wait to meet you.
Article by Colin Dyson