Lancashire women’s cricket captain tells rising LGBT stars to bat away homophobia

Lancashire women’s cricket captain Jasmine Titmuss has become the first ever Ambassador for Pride Sports, an organisation focused on LGBT sports development.

Ms Titmuss, from Trafford, undertook her first official engagement in her new role yesterday, opening a series of sporting fixtures for the University of Manchester Athletic Union as part of LGBT History Month.

The cricketer, who has been openly gay for a number of years, was delighted to be given the responsibility.

“I am very proud to be named as the first Pride Sports Ambassador. It is a fantastic organisation to be involved with,” she said.

“I hope that I can inspire the LGBT community to not only get into sport but get some real enjoyment and reward out of taking part at any level.”

Lou Englefield, Director of Pride Sports, felt that Jasmine was the perfect candidate to carry out the role.

“Jasmine’s a really great advocate, she knows what it means to get people involved in sport, she knows about that real grass roots level and what you need to do to get people through the door,” she said.

“She’s got experience of performance sport, she plays at a performance level, but she also works at the grass roots as well, so for us she’s ideal.”

Ms Titmuss explained that things haven’t always been easy as an openly gay athlete playing at a high level.

“There is quite a lot of the LGB community within cricket, and growing up you’re in that bubble of playing and you don’t really notice that there would be an issue with it,” she said.

“But when I went to Lancs, as captain, I was the only gay person in the team and as captain it’s quite difficult just how people would perceive that.

“When people get to know [about your sexuality] some people’s opinions do change and that is quite difficult to deal with.”

Ms Titmuss, who is Clubs and Leagues Officer for the Lancashire Cricket Board as well as being first team captain, first became involved with Pride Sports a year ago when she worked with them to offer a six week taster course in cricket for the LGBT community.

Ms Englefield was impressed by Ms Titmuss immediately.

“It’s not always easy, you have to do quite a lot of selling to get people to engage and Jasmine particularly just championed the piece of work,” she said.

Ms Titmuss and Pride Sport maintained close links, until yesterday’s announcement that Ms Titmuss was to become their first official ambassador.

Ms Titmuss said: “I’ve never really thought, ‘I’m gay, I’m going to be an ambassador and put the world to rights,’

“But when Lou started speaking to me about it I just thought it was a really good thing to do, being local, just to get that message out there.”

Ms Titmuss is not just a role model in sport – she also volunteers as a Police Special Constable in her spare time.

She hopes her experiences working with the police will help her in her new role

“It’s opened my eyes to loads of different people out there and people in different situations,” she said.

“It makes you a really non-judgemental person.”

Ms Titmuss’ advice to young LGBT sportspeople is simple.

“Don’t let it affect what you want to do,” she said.

“If you just want to play recreational sport, then do it and if you want to push on and try and play at a higher level then it’s completely not a problem.

“It doesn’t matter what you do and where you come from, you’re still the same person and you’re still good at what you do.”

Image courtesy of Pride Sports, with thanks.

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