Perth Parrots grow LGBT+ sports opportunities

Since 2019, the Perthshire-based floorball club has made efforts to make sure that members of the LGBTIQ+ community can have greater opportunities to be involved in team sports.

Floorball is a fast growing sport in the UK and mirrors the rules of Ice Hockey but instead plays with a floorball in a gym hall – no ice and no puck. The Perth Parrots train every Tuesday between 6-7pm at Bells Sports Centre in Perth. Open to those aged 18 and over, the club offers new members their first session for free and all equipment is provided. Perth Parrots is open to members of the LGBTIQ+ community and straight allies, who share a passion for the sport.

In recent times, the Parrots have been engaging with groups such as Andys Man Club in Perth and Gleneagles. The session was hosted on the 3rd February 2022, and saw many members from the local clubs join and also resulted in new members joining the Parrots too.

The Perth Parrots ran a taster session with Andys Man Club, with members from Perth and Gleneagles joining

Frazer Robertson, Club President for the Perth Parrots, said: “Sadly the LGBTIQ+ community is often disproportionately affected by poor mental health and the Parrots are acutely aware that its weekly training sessions offer an excellent outlet to improve your fitness, meet new people and make new friends. Therefore working with Andy’s Man Club who champion mental health among men across the UK was such a good fit for the club.”

As Perth Parrots Coach, Rhuaraidh Fleming, said: “Our taster session with Andy’s Man Club was really important to us as a club. Since the Parrots formed, we have made every effort to make it clear that we are an open, welcoming club regardless of who you are or where you come from, because sport is for everybody. We’re always on the lookout for new members and are open to anybody who wants to give floorball a try.”

Alex McClintock, the Project Development Champion for Andys Man Club said: “Hopefully some of our guys who have attended the taster session feel that it’s something that they might want to get more involved in and this might lead to some of the Parrots attending Andys Man Club on a Monday night. It’s also important to work in collaboration to encourage people to reach out and talk and to challenge some of the toxic stigmas out there surrounding mental health and we all need to play our part in that. AMC hopes that this is just the first event that we can be involved in with the Parrots and the wider LGBTQI community.”

Perth Parrots team sporting Purple Friday t-shirts, an initiative from LGBT Youth Scotland

The Parrots have continued to engage with the local Perthshire community, such as Floorball Friendlies between LGBTIQ+ support groups from Perth High School and Perth Grammar School during LGBT History Month and LGBT Youth Scotland’s Purple Friday initiative.

They are also running initiatives such as a Female Focused Taster Session in April 2022 and have recently provided team members and taster attendees with club branded water bottles to help build on the sense of being part of the team.

Female Focused Taster Session, hosted Thursday 14th April at Bell Sports Centre

If you feel like the Perth Parrots would be something you’d like to get involved in, get in touch with them by emailing perthparrots@gmail.com or finding them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

#JoinThePandemonium

Images: Peter & Rab, Pictures of Perth & Beyond; Perth Parrots Floorball Club
Written by: Frazer Robertson, Perth Parrots Floorball Club & Matt Wester, Rainbow Heartlands Programme

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