Okay okay I confess, I keep things, I hoard, I treasure and value things.  The extent of this is that since I was hooked to the game of Ice Hockey I have kept all of my programmes.

And yet right now I am sitting here in my front room with a signed Streatham Ice Hockey stick that has been taped with the Rainbow Tape that is supportive of the LGBTI community in sport.  I can't deny I'm slightly stunned by this - sport is not my forte, but advocacy is.  But due to one of my best mates, Edmund Heywood, I find myself passionate about a sport and indeed a sports team.  Since we went to the first match together, I have found myself rescheduling travel, indeed cancelling other activities, to be in Streatham, at the Ice Rink, cheering, screaming and shouting my Hockey team on.

This was all enough for me until it was suggested that the team, like others have in North America, take up the cause of Pride Tape.  Now Pride Tape is a simple device, built on the tradition of taping your stick before the match with a grip you prefer, but in this instance the Tape is in rainbow colours.

And so when the team skate out onto the ice - they do so to cheers and a throaty roar of support, but this week was different for me. First my bestie and I had done some work generating friends and family to attend and so we had some mates around, second was we had encouraged representatives from local public sector groups and LGBTI groups and third as the team swept out I was stunned.

My voice went dry, my eyes welled up and I my heart soared - there was my team.  Only this time it was my team through and through - Captain Adam Wood had lead the way and his stick was awash with tape and all others had followed suit.  

This week the team were mine to my core - this was a symbolic gesture that reached out beyond the team skills and into the teams attitude, their approach and their own value of their fans.  I was a fan who saw their messaging of rainbow tape and I felt valued beyond that I have ever felt in a sport. 

So Streatham, Adam Wood, Jeremy Cornish, the team, Carrsy I want to say thank you - it was symbolic and it was powerful and all those we had bought to see the match they loved it too.  But sly credit above all goes to team rock and drummer extraordinaire Dawn - it was only in the third period we saw her drumstick fully taped up - and I nudged my best mate Eddie and turning back to the game we cheered louder.

And for the rest of season and ongoing I will be encouraging, teasing, temping and dragging other LGBTI friends to come and see the team that has captured my imagination in the hope and aim that it will capture theirs.