Throughout June, Sparsholt College Group (Including Andover College and University Centre Sparsholt) will celebrate lesbian, gay, bi, trans, non-binary and queer (LGBTQ+) culture and experiences with a series of activities and events kicked off with the inaugural Pride Parade on the Sparsholt College Campus.
Pride Month represents an opportunity for the Sparsholt College Group community to reflect on all the ways they can contribute to creating a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive environment for all LGBTQ+ students and employees.
The parade was a great success and hosted a number of floats representing the different subject areas taught at Sparsholt College including Animal Management, Foundation Studies, Arboriculture, Land & Wildlife, Horticulture, Sport & Uniformed Protective Services, Agriculture and Equine Studies all with a different creative theme and message.
After deliberations and extensive judging from a staff panel, the Sport and Uniformed Protective Services departments were declared overall winners. Their design celebrated the bravery of sporting athletes across a range of diverse sports within the LGBTQ+ community.
Second place was awarded to the Foundation Studies Department, whose theme was ‘Love Has No Labels’. Their message was that while most people consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what they see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability. The Foundation students supported Pride by walking with pride and love for each other and their college.
Third Place was awarded to the Land and Wildlife department. Students from our Countryside team put a huge amount of work into this project and used their theme of Nature, to convey the message that all genders and sexualities are natural and the link this has to the Land and Wildlife subjects. Such as handprint trees represent diversity, inclusion and community.
The day also included face painting, crafting, a plant sale and stalls from both the library promoting interesting literature and the students from the LGBTQ+ Society which provided useful resources on LGBTQ+ History and how to be a good ally. We were also lucky enough to have representatives from Hampshire Police on behalf of LAGLO (Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers) who had a host of goodies to give out.
Liz Wilson, Assistant Principal Student Experience, said: “We had such fun celebrating our inaugural Pride Parade on the Sparsholt Campus. For many young people, further and higher education is often the first place where they can be themselves and we are committed to promoting inclusion and equality among our students, staff and the wider SCG community.”
The Animal Management float has been inspired by the amazing wildlife we have in nature. The float has been designed by Level 1 Work Based Learners and it features the college’s wonderful Red Panda, as well as a jellyfish and a turtle. Nature can be colourful and flamboyant, and this is the inspiration of the float.
Animal Management are proud to support pride to show everyone, that it doesn’t matter who you are, you will always be accepted at Sparsholt.
The Foundation float is about celebrating that ‘Love Has No Labels’
They believe that while the vast majority of people consider themselves unprejudiced, many of us unintentionally make snap judgments about people based on what they see—whether it’s race, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or disability.
Foundation students are supporting pride by walking with pride and love for each other and their college.
Arboriculture & Forestry
Arb & Forestry are driving one of their forestry tractors, which they hope will turn heads! It is adorned in the Pride colours
Arboriculture are supporting Pride at Sparsholt because in a forest biodiversity is what makes the environment rich and allows animals and trees to thrive. They believe the same is true in college. Both in the arb and forestry industries and their department they embrace the importance of diversity for both trees and people.
Land and Wildlife
The Land and Wildlife float has been designed by students from our Countryside team who have put a huge amount of work into this project
The theme of the float is Nature, to convey the message that all genders and sexualities are natural and the link this has to the Land and Wildlife subjects.
There are many aspects of the float each with their own meaning and each part of the Land and Wildlife courses.
The Work In Progress sign shows acceptance and desire to grow and develop both as part of the LGBTQ+ community and as allies. The handprint trees represent diversity, inclusion and community. The paintings of rainbow fish, deer and butterflies are representations of each part of the Land and Wildlife Dept.
The Sparsholt Horticulture are a family of passionate and enthusiastic individuals. Celebrating everyone’s beliefs and supporting their decisions, they thrive on being united as one. Horticultural icons such as Sir Francis Bacon (Botanist), Alys Fowler (Horticulture Journalist) and Vita Sackville-West (Garden Designer) form the foundations of our Horticulture LGBTQ+ community.
Horticulture are supporting Pride to help build on those foundations.
Sport & Public Services
Sport and public service’s design celebrates the bravery of sporting athletes across a range of diverse sports within the LGBTQ+ community.
Many of the athletes on display have been the first, in their own sporting disciplines, to publicly come out and share their journeys and experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ Community to the world.
This has had an overwhelming impact on the perceptions and inclusivity of a changing sporting culture. They have, and still are, empowering the next generation and a new era within sport.
Marching alongside the float, you will see our sport learners, who have chosen a LGBTQ+ sports person to represent and celebrate wearing their profiles proudly. Our learners are also flying coloured balloons which represent the symbol of PRIDE.
Sport and Public Services encourage any queer or questions members of our Sparsholt Community to be true to who they are.
The Agriculture department are showing their support and love to all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The LGBTQ+ community are unfortunately often stereotyped as not being able to hold a valid place within the agricultural sector. As the new generation of young farmers our students want to break down barriers and stigmas. They believe everyone should be able to wear wellies, tend livestock and look dapper in overalls with pride! Farming as a job role can be filled with many fears already, such as isolation and overlooked mental health, without the additional fear of not being accepted or able to fully express yourself. The agriculture students want to shine a light into the darkness of this un-talked about problem facing the LGBTQ+ farming community
As the most inclusive and accepting Olympic sport Equine celebrate individuality and difference. We don’t care who you are, what you want to be or what you want to identify as, we accept every single one of you and celebrate your ability on the horse.
Equine’s float represents diversity, a scope to dream and chance to imagine all possibilities. Showing the rainbow colours symbolic of the Pride movement and by decorating a magical creature we are embracing the strength in all possibilities, visualising herd diversity and ensuring our Pride empowers this representation in society.
Their choice of song is about reminding everyone that we should be celebrating ourselves and be proud of who we are. Emeli has recently come out in a loving relationship making this artists message all the more important and current in the LGBTQ+ community