Nottingham Forest Supporters Trust are delighted the free ‘My City My Shirt’ diversity photo exhibition is now at its first stop on tour at Rushcliffe Arena Leisure Centre in West Bridgford with other exhibitions planned in due course across the city.
Rushcliffe Borough Council and Lex Leisure are pleased to be hosting the images in conjunction with the Trust and the club in their atrium at the site, celebrating the range of ethnicities, religions, genders, disabilities and sexual orientations that makes up the NFFC supporting family.
The first fully public display of the exhibition, it can be visited during opening hours seven days a week at the Rugby Road site in the town between now and April 18 at NG2 7YG.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 6am to 10pm, Saturday 7am to 5pm and Sunday 8am to 6pm and Bank Holidays 6am to 8pm.
To celebrate the diversity of the club’s fanbase, the Trust with the support of the Club and the Football Supporters’ Association launched the initiative last year at the City’s Council House.
It’s part of a wider ‘Fans for Diversity’ campaign led by the FSA’s Anwar Uddin with partners Kick It Out and features over 30 fans around the county and the City Ground wearing a Forest shirt showing the breadth of our Reds support and the iconic places of Notts.
Supporters Trust Board member Barry Frenchman has been integral to the Trust’s team co-ordinating the exhibition with new tour sites across the City to be confirmed soon.
He said: “I saw the original campaign and thought it would be a great idea to utilise our own fan base to showcase the diversity of the crowds down at the city ground and encourage everyone to feel confident and safe supporting Forest.
“It is also important to realise that not all diversities are easily discerned and many more are less obvious.
“The photos show a tiny handful of stories of these people, to illustrate that the most important thing is that we are all Forest fans regardless of our differences.
“However there are many more stories to be told. Some people are still reluctant to open up about their diversity and I know of people who would have liked to be a part of this campaign but could not quite find it in themselves to put their heads above the parapet. This is understandable.
“I hope that if we were to do a similar project in a few years’ time we would be inundated with requests to participate from all sections of our community. Nottingham and Nottingham Forest are warm and welcoming but we can always do more.”
The photos from the exhibition have been shown on the big screens at the City Ground on matchday and in the club’s programme, following a hugely successful project launch last year reaching thousands on social media, the local media and the Football Supporters’ Association website.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan said: “The display is a great showcase of the diversity that sport attracts regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, disability and orientation and Rushcliffe is proud to be home to such a wide range of Forest fans from every part of the Borough.
“I encourage everyone to visit this exhibition to admire the passion these supporters show for following a club that is so much a part of the fabric of life in the Borough.”
Cllr Bal Bansal, Trent Bridge ward member for the Borough Council and Forest fan is among the individuals featured among the images.
He added: “I am very proud to be among the many different fans photographed in the exhibition and not least that it is now displayed here in the Borough that is home to the club.
“I encourage everyone to celebrate the diversity of the club and the thousands of fans Forest has right around the globe that make up its wonderful fanbase.”
Visit https://nffctrust.org/my-city-my-shirt/ for more information.