Elite League unveils ice hockey’s first ever Pride weekend

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Ice hockey’s Elite League is to stage a Pride weekend for the very first time.

All games across the weekend of January 25-27 to celebrate equality and diversity, and promote inclusion within the sport.

All ten teams will be involved in the initiative, including Fife Flyers.

Their home game against Cardiff Devils on Saturday, January 25 will form part of the Pride weekend, as will their road game at Glasgow Clan the following night.

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The initiative is being organised in partnership with North American based organisation, You Can Play which was set up to campaign for the removal of homophobia in sports.

An official partner of the NHL, it was launched in 2012 following the death in a car crash of Brendan Burke, a young ice hockey player, and son of Brian Burke, former of Toronto Maple Leafs.

Brendan came out publicly in 2009, and was viewed as a pioneer in advocacy against homophobia in hockey. His father was one of the three co-founders of the campaign group.

The EIHL has yet to give any details on how its first ever Pride weekend might look, and what is expected of the individual teams, but it has listed all games across the three nights in the initiative.

Tony Smith, chairman, said: “Several of our teams have held their own individual events during past seasons, but I am delighted that we’ll carry this important message across the EIHL.

“We are very proud to have a diverse fanbase across ice hockey in the UK. Our fans showed at the play-off finals weekend that inclusivity is something they value in our sport, and we want everyone to feel welcome whenever they’re in our arenas or attending our events.”