The Home Office has launched a public competition for designs to accompany its Charter for Action campaign, which aims to tackle homophobia in sport.

Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone announced the competition, which is primarily targeted at young people. Ben Cohen will draw up the competition’s shortlist.

The Home Office says applicants should try to convey a message of inclusion and respect in sport in the logo.

Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone said: “Over 2,000 individuals and clubs have already signed up to the Government Charter for Action to kick homophobia and transphobia out of sport and I thank them for their support.

“The competition will help encourage even more people to get involved and spread the message far and wide that homophobic and transphobic abuse is never acceptable.”

Rugby Union star Ben Cohen will choose the top designs and a public vote will follow in February 2012.

The winning design will become the official logo for the campaign.

Ben Cohen, MBE, England Rugby World Cup champion said: “I am passionate about standing up against homophobia and making sure sport is a welcoming place for everyone.

“The winning logo will allow sports fans, players and clubs to clearly show their support for tackling this issue and help unite everyone who loves sport behind this important campaign.”

Prizes donated by The Football Association, The Football League, The Lawn Tennis Association, the Rugby Football League and Ben Cohen include:

    A mascot package for under 11’s at an England Football International at Wembley
    2 tickets to the Championship playoff finals at Wembley
    2 Tickets to the AEGON tennis Championship at Queens
    4 Tickets to the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final
    A signed Ben Cohen shirt
    A tour of Wembley Stadium

Writing for PinkNews.co.uk after the launch of the Charter for Action in March, Featherstone said: “It is a shame that homophobia, and probably more importantly the fear of becoming the target of homophobic jibes, leads to many LGBT people simply not partaking.”

Signatories on the Charter include Ben Cohen, tennis star Martina Navratilova and film director David Furnish, as well as the Football Association, the Lawn Tennis Association, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union.

Designs for the logo can be drawn, painted or electronic and should be sent to sportscharter@geo.gsi.gov.uk or to Nancy Tenenbaum at Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

The deadline for competition entries is 18 January 2012.