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July 8 2011

An anti-homophobia football tournament has taken place at the Downs Leisure Centre in Seaford involving more than 125 young people from the Lewes district.

The tournament, held on June 26, was part of Tackle Homophobia, a project run by East Sussex County Council in conjunction with Brighton & Hove Albion FC and the Justin Campaign with the aim of raising awareness of homophobia in sport.

The event involved a youngsters 6-a-side competition with teams from the local area, as a fun tournament for adult teams from Brighton & Hove Albion FC, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and the Justin Campaign.

Event organiser Sam Whittaker said: "Although there is a long way to go to tackle homophobia in sports this high profile event has helped to raised awareness and shown the support of young people. The project will continue to run weekly football sessions to continue spreading the message that discrimination of any kind is not acceptable."

The County Council's Lead Member for Children and Families, Cllr Colin Belsey commented: "I am glad we live in a society now where most people find all forms of discrimination completely unacceptable. But homophobia in sport still exists and so events like this remain very important. It was a great day and everyone appeared to be having a fantastic time."