Lightning to host Pride match supporting Leicester LGBT Centre

Lightning’s match will raise funds for the Leicester LGBT Centre; Nat Panagarry: “I champion everything they stand for. They aim to provide safe, accessible, and appropriate services, venue and support to combat social isolation, exclusion and discrimination that LGBT people face”

Last Updated: 10/03/22 6:42pm

Loughborough Lightning will host their Pride match on Sunday at the Sir David Wallace Arena

Loughborough Lightning’s Vitality Netball Superleague match against Wasps on Sunday will be a Pride match raising funds LGBT+ charity, the Leicester LGBT Centre.

The contest will be streamed live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel from 4pm and is the first meeting of the season between Lightning and their rivals Wasps.

This season, Lightning want to give their players the opportunity to shed light on topics that are close to home and Lightning captain Nat Panagarry is the driving force behind this charity focus.

Panagarry has spoken to Sky Sports about her experiences as an LGBT+ athlete in netball.

“I’ve always felt that I’ve been celebrated for who I am and that’s how everyone should be,” she said. “We’ve all got differences, we’re all unique and that should be something that we want to bring to the netball family and to the netball court.

“Netball, I think, is one of the most diverse [sports]. I’m always thankful for the netball community, Loughborough Lightning and the Vitality Roses for that.”

This was an opportunity to keep championing increased visibility, something I’m really passionate about. We want to celebrate and encourage diversity within our netball community, and everyone should feel supported and welcomed when they take to a netball court.

Nat Panagarry (Image credit: Morgan Harlow)

The 2021 champions have started the new Vitality Netball Superleague season in fine form and are unbeaten ahead of Round Seven.

For Panagarry, the 2022 season marks her sixth in Lightning’s famous purple dress. She is looking forward to Lightning’s Pride game and shared more about what it means to her.

“Pride games are a chance to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and it seeks to build trust, and welcome communities into sporting spaces,” Panagarry said.

“I think they are massively needed to keep pushing inclusion in sport and creating conversations where people can learn, be educated, and connect with LGBTQ+ people.

?@Npanagarry “We want netball to be a safe space, for all to be involved, all minority groups and I think this is a good way to start that.”

Join us for the first ever @NetballSL Pride Match this Sunday! ???

?Buy Tickets: https://t.co/IiX4iKcwOo

?LIVE on @SkyNetball YouTube pic.twitter.com/RMOSZPpv01

— Loughborough Lightning Netball Team (@LboroLightning)

March 10, 2022

“I’ve chosen a local Midlands charity as I champion everything they stand for. Leicester LGBT Centre aim to provide safe, accessible, and appropriate services, venue and support to combat social isolation, exclusion and discrimination that LGBT people face.

“The centre also aims to promote a positive environment that empowers those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and educate those who are not.”

Loughborough Lightning will then have a quick turnaround after their Pride match, as they take on Team Bath Netball on Monday evening.

The meeting between the two great rivals, and rematch of last year’s Grand Final, will be live on Sky Sports Main Event and Mix from 5.30pm.

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