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Former footballer and professional head coach of San Diego Wave FC. The athlete has captioned for the England women’s national football team over an incredible 200 times. In her latest move, Stoney has partnered with LEGO DUPLO to help parents celebrate their toddlers’ milestones, from kicking a ball to playing with bricks. In a new YouTube video, the former Team GB captain is seen bonding with her daughter, mirroring her behaviour, and encouraging her to get involved in sports. GAY TIMES had a chat with Stoney to discuss sporting accessibility, LGBTQ+ representation and more.

Do you think sports and the sporting industry are becoming more inclusive and tackling homophobia more stringently?

Having been involved in women’s football my whole life I have never really experienced any homophobia as it’s a very inclusive environment and you are very much encouraged to be yourself and respect for the strength you bring to the team. I know that this is not the same for other sporting industries and it’s about education and the language we use to enable people to feel free to be themselves. It’s also about challenging and speaking up when we don’t feel the environment is a safe space and continuing to educate those that might understand the impact they are having on others.

Can you tell GAY TIMES why this sporting campaign appealed to you?

This campaign is all about supporting parents and educating them about the benefits of LEGO DUPLO play – not just for fun but for development too. But, at the same time, it is such a fun campaign!! Celebrate like a Pro encourages and inspires parents to celebrate their little one’s achievements – big and small – to help them grow. I had so much fun creating the content with Willow, my little one, and seeing the final edit with Jamie Vardy and his son Finley too.

The nature of a chosen family is hugely valued in the LGBTQ+ community. Sports and interactive play are able to break boundaries across all cultures, communities, and families. How do you think one-on-one interactive play helps a child and parent bond more closely? 

LEGO play transcends age, gender, culture. Through role-play families, friends, kids can create what they want with a pile of bricks, then re-create it again and again. It’s the ultimate vehicle for self-expression and creativity!

The LEGO DUPLO campaign video shows you and your daughter working together and getting creative. How do you hope this message will appeal to parents to get their daughters involved in sport and why? 

I know personally the value of sport and the positive impact both physically and mentally it has had throughout my life and I wouldn’t have been involved in sports if it wasn’t for the encouragement and support of my parents.

How do you think sports can help children build a connection with their parents? 

The biggest job as a football manager is to support and encourage your team, and there’s no better way to do this than by celebrating with them. By cheering them on from the sidelines and lifting their energy at halftime, I boost team morale and help my players’ development.

I use the same tactics as a mum. I’m my kids’ biggest supporter and celebrating moments with them helps nurture their development and growth. With mum cheering her on, Willow knows she can tackle anything she puts her mind to.

You can watch Casey Stoney’s “Celebrate Like A Pro” video with LEGO DUPLO here or below.