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James Wilson and the 'Gas Girls' support the EFL & Puma Rainbow Ball

Bristol Rovers First-Team player James Wilson attended a 'Gas Girls' training session last week to chat about how the Community Trust and the football club has been able to support LGBT participants and the wider community.

As part of the LGBT History Month, The English Football League (EFL) and Official Match Ball partners, PUMA are proud to mark LGBT History Month by unveiling the very first Rainbow match ball which will be used by all 72 Clubs across Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two matches from February 16-24.

For every goal scored with the Rainbow Ball across the Championship, League One and League Two PUMA will make a donation to an LGBTQ+ Fans for Diversity Fund. The money raised will be utilised to support LGBTQ+ supporters and their projects which may include initiatives to raise awareness about inclusion in football, events promoting diversity, or providing resources for LGBTQ+ fans within the football community.

Bristol Rovers Women's players Laura Curnock and Kelly Cutler shared their enthusiasm for the initiative and how the 'Gas Girls' have supported inclusion from when it was formed.

Laura said, "I think the rainbow ball initiative by the EFL and Puma is fantastic, and I'm pleased to see all of the clubs within EFL promoting it. It was great to meet James who came along to our sessions to see how we create and inclusive and welcoming environment for the whole squad."

Kelly added, "It's great to see this initiative being supported by Bristol Rovers. The 'Gas Girls' have always been fully inclusive and welcoming to everyone, and that's something that we're proud to continue going forward. It's great to see members of the first-team supporting the cause and taking a genuine interest into what we do."

James Wilson, said "I was delighted to be invited to check out a 'Gas Girls' training session last week and meet some of the girls. You can tell straight away they've created a friendly, family environment which is welcoming for any player. I was impressed with their attitude to training and work ethic, so it's no surprise that they've been successful this season."

Bristol Rovers Women's FC has a history of supporting LGBT projects and initiatives. In 2020, the 'Gas Girls' released their award winning away shirt in partnership with Bristol Pride, which also sits in the National Football Museum. The club then hosted an LGBT Football Festival in 2022, which welcomed teams and players from all backgrounds.

The LGBT Rainbow Ball by Puma will be used by the first-team on Saturday against Carlisle United.


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