Dirk Smith: “As much as sport kind of kicked me out, it was also the thing that saved me.”

When Dirk Smith is coaching athletes, he approaches it from a place of knowing exactly what it is like to lose all motivation. Smith wears many hats. He is a personal trainer, he works with a football team in Germany, he is an avid swimmer and he is also an academic in sports psychology. Dirk …

Continue reading Dirk Smith: “As much as sport kind of kicked me out, it was also the thing that saved me.”

Trans Active: “We can really make it a celebratory space rather than one that’s awkward.”

There seems to be an ever-rising wave of abuse targeted at the transgender community, and sport is not immune. As human rights come under threat and the ability to exist in peace gets "debated" with increasing vitriol, bans have come into place to prevent trans people taking part in sport. In the US, laws have …

Continue reading Trans Active: “We can really make it a celebratory space rather than one that’s awkward.”

Colin Arthur: “It’s nice to know that people can look at me and see that you can feel open and safe.”

There is a well-established inclusive rugby scene in Scotland, but not everyone chooses to go down that route. Clubs like Caledonian Thebans, Glasgow Raptors and Aberdeen Taexali are spaces to encourage people into the game, while still being competitive in their own right. However, if you want to get to the top of the Scottish …

Continue reading Colin Arthur: “It’s nice to know that people can look at me and see that you can feel open and safe.”

Sam Abdulla: “I’d had the best time and I can remember it viscerally, and then I felt like it had been taken away from me.”

Sam Abdulla is proof of the impact inclusive clubs can have on someone’s life. Now chair of the Caledonian Thebans Rugby Club in Edinburgh, the Welshman returned to the sport after over 15 years in Scotland’s capital city having been driven out of the sport as a youngster. Rugby is part of the culture in …

Continue reading Sam Abdulla: “I’d had the best time and I can remember it viscerally, and then I felt like it had been taken away from me.”

Robyn Love: “I didn’t want people to see a difference. I wanted them to see me as better.”

Robyn Love is no stranger to creating social media storms. When the Paralympian in wheelchair basketball announced her engagement to teammate Laurie Williams back in February 2020, the post went viral and the pair were featured on a number of international news outlets. Fast forward two-and-a-half years to this week, and there was another reason …

Continue reading Robyn Love: “I didn’t want people to see a difference. I wanted them to see me as better.”

Adam Crafton: “If you’re not emotionally engaged and invested, I don’t know if you should really be doing it.”

There are not many journalists out there who have written such unique articles at the intersection of LGBTQIA+ and sport as Adam Crafton. The Athletic's writer has popped up several times over the last couple of years with in-depth features, including pieces on the life – not the death – of Justin Fashanu, what it's …

Continue reading Adam Crafton: “If you’re not emotionally engaged and invested, I don’t know if you should really be doing it.”

Anita Asante: “Football is supposed to be a beacon that brings people from all sorts of walks of life and backgrounds into one shared space.”

For some professional athletes, retirement is an opportunity to take a breath, look around and figure out what the next steps look like. That was not the case for footballer Anita Asante, though, who has barely had a chance to blink since announcing she was hanging up her boots in April, bringing a 19-year playing …

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Zander Murray: “There’s zero hiding anymore, just me and my organic self that I should have been a long time ago.”

Zander Murray has become the first male Scottish professional football player to come out as gay. The 30-year-old joins the list of people within the British game to have publicly announced their sexuality this year, following the likes of Blackpool teenager Jake Daniels and Scottish referees Craig Napier and Lloyd Wilson. Murray, who broke Gala …

Continue reading Zander Murray: “There’s zero hiding anymore, just me and my organic self that I should have been a long time ago.”

Jamie Bowie: “Everyone was talking about the Commonwealth Games, being involved or going to go see it. It really was a huge thing.”

In the weeks leading up to a major international competition like the Commonwealth Games, plenty of different thoughts and emotions will be going through athletes' minds. Retired Great Britain sprinter Jamie Bowie knows exactly what that feels like. He ran in Team GB colours at European and World Championships, winning a silver medal in 2014 …

Continue reading Jamie Bowie: “Everyone was talking about the Commonwealth Games, being involved or going to go see it. It really was a huge thing.”

Lloyd Wilson: “The amount of footballers that messaged me, and the amount of fans of clubs that have messaged me – it’s just absolutely incredible.”

It has been a historic spell for LGBTQIA+ representation in men's football. An argument could be made that it stretches back to Josh Cavallo becoming the only openly gay male player in a top division around the world last October. Then, last month, Jake Daniels became the first professional player in the UK men's game …

Continue reading Lloyd Wilson: “The amount of footballers that messaged me, and the amount of fans of clubs that have messaged me – it’s just absolutely incredible.”