Cardiff Dragons football club kicks off new partnership with Openreach
A Cardiff football club which can lay claim to being Wales’ first LGBTI+ football team, is teaming up with Openreach, the UK’s largest broadband network.
A new, 12-month partnership will see the digital network company supporting the Cardiff Dragons football team.
Cardiff Dragons is a mixed gender football club that run three teams and welcome players of all abilities. The Dragons GFSN team is open to all genders, and is the part of the club that plays nationally in the Gay Football Supporters Network, or GFSN league. The mixed team also participates in an 11-a-side Cardiff Casual League. Dragons Rock is open to all women, trans women and non-binary people.
With a motto of ‘Mwy na phêl-droed‘ (More than just football’) the club regularly run social events and promote an environment of respect, inclusivity and community which is in line with Openreach’s commitment to become a more diverse and inclusive business, where everyone feels valued and supported for who they are.
The Dragons also offers its members free access to a mental health support service, as this is something the club help fundraise and understand how it disproportionately affects marginalised communities.
Charlotte Galloway, Cardiff Dragons Chairperson, said: “We’re thrilled that Openreach has
chosen to support our team. It means a lot to us to have our club chosen for this brand partnership at a UK level. We know it will be a really positive relationship and we look forward to working closely on different ways to promote diversity and inclusion in sport throughout the UK.”
The new partnership follows an Openreach partnership with Colchester Kings RFC, East Anglia’s first gay and inclusive rugby club, in December 2022.
Following that deal, Openreach’s people networks – which celebrate and represent employees from all backgrounds – chose additional clubs throughout the UK to work with.
The Openreach people networks – Pride, Gender Equality, Ethnic Diversity, Neurodiversity (NDN) and recently-created Able 2 network – were set up to help develop an inclusive workplace, prioritising education and change, and challenging thinking when needed. The people networks have grown significantly since launching and more than 7000 people are now members of one or more.
Scott Room, Openreach’s director of Brand, Marketing and Digital, said: “We’re proud to be partnering with the Cardiff Dragons. They’re a great example of the positive impact inclusive sports clubs can have on local communities and people, no matter their background or situation.
“At Openreach, we’re committed to becoming a more diverse and inclusive business which truly reflects the communities we serve across the UK. As the largest employer of telecoms engineers in the UK, we want to use our size to help make positive changes, and improve diversity in the engineering sector and in the communities where we operate.
“Our aim with this partnership is to support a club that is raising awareness and support for the LGBTI+ community and making a difference within the local community. We hope that we can help them smash their goals.”
The company, which is currently extending its Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband network across the UK, is also partnering with Bournville-based Crusaders FC’s youth girls’ teams; Everett Rovers Football Club in Watford, which runs a team for players with disabilities; and Glasgow Saints, an amateur football club which is helping to combat food poverty and isolation in the community.