Media release: Diversity and inclusion needs to be a part of every level of sport

The organisers of Pride Cup are calling on Australian sporting codes, at every level to take on the challenge of diversity and inclusion in their sport.

Celebrating its third year, Pride Cup’s founder Jason Ball says that strong progress has been made in the AFL but more work needs to be done by sporting codes at every level.

“Pride Cup has made strong progress in netball and the AFL, has inspired a national Pride Cup match between St Kilda and Sydney Swans, as well as events in other leagues but more needs to be done at every level,” says Jason.

“A lack of diversity in sport has a severe impact on young Australians, and sees them self-select themselves out of the wonderful range of sports that are available in our communities. The other negative of this equation is that Australian sports end up missing out on great talent.”

“As we go into the Rio Olympics, it is a perfect time for anyone who runs a sporting club or code, to think about how they are making their sport inclusive for everyone.

Pride Cup, now in its third year, celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). Played as part of the AFL Yarra Ranges league, the event has been embraced by teams, the local community and the AFL.

The event is supported by a range of community, corporate and government organisations, including Yarra Ranges Council, NAB, Cyber Risk Advisors, Eastern Health, Sherwood Sportswear and De Bortoli Wines.

This year’s match sees Kinglake take on 2015 Pride Cup Champions Yarra Glen at the Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve – with the ground featuring a rainbow 50m line, the international symbol of gay pride.

The Rainbow Network supports Pride Cup by providing pre-match diversity and inclusion training to players from both teams.

A Pride Cup luncheon for junior league coaches will further spread the message of inclusion with speakers including Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Rowena Allen and openly gay Channel 9 News Presenter Peter Hitchener.

The Yarra Ranges Council, a major supporter of the event will be continuing the message of education follow Pride Cup, with all clubs in the AFL Yarra Ranges league sending two champions for diversity and inclusion training.

Commissioner Rowena Allen says that sporting clubs still present a major barrier for many people who identify as LGBTI.

“There are many young Victorians who are missing out on the benefits that sport can provide because of their sexuality or gender,” says Rowena.

“We know that the attitudes of the Victorian community have changed, and as a community we are more supportive of LGBTI people. I would encourage anyone who runs a sporting club to access some of the great materials, training and education that will help them understand some of the issues that young people face.”

Newsreader Peter Hitchener applauded the work of the Yarra Glen football club and the local community in the Yarra Ranges.

“It is amazing to see a whole community rally together in a show of support for LGBTI people. The Pride Cup is a great initiative, not just for sport, but for communities who want to improve the outcomes for young people,” says Peter.

For more information visit www.pridecup.org.au

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Media opportunities

Saturday 16 April 2016

What:                      Pride Cup

Where:                    Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve, Yarra Glen

When:                     12pm – Pride Cup Match Day Lunch featuring Peter Hitchener and Rowena Allen

2.00pm – Pre-game ceremony

2.10pm – Senior Football Pride Cup and A Grade Netball Pride Cup

4.30pm – Presentation of Pride Cup to winning football and netball teams

Opportunities:   Interview opportunities and filming at pre-game lunch

Match day filming and photo opportunities

Pride Cup winner photos and interviews

There are a number of interview and filming opportunities available around Pride Cup. If you wish to arrange interviews and filming please contact:

David Micallef, Says David Communications, david@saysdavid.com.au

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