NAB has announced an extension of its partnership with Pride Cup Australia for another three years to further support LGBTI inclusion in sport.

The partnership will run through 2021, allowing Pride Cup Australia to support 120 sporting clubs to theme a match around celebrating diversity and inclusion of LGBTI+ people.

The matches will also allow clubs to provide education to help create lasting change in local sporting communities.

“At NAB we are committed to diversity and inclusion in our workplace, and in the community,” said Chief Customer Experience Officer Rachel Slade.

“Through our partnership with Pride Cup Australia we can help sporting clubs to create inclusive, progressive and successful communities.

“NAB has an ongoing commitment to supporting football – we’ve partnered with the AFL for the past 18 years, including being the naming rights partner of the NAB AFL Women’s competition since the inaugural season in 2016.

“We are committed to growing the game at all levels, and making it a better game for all Australians. That’s why we support programs that encourage all members of the community to get involved.”

The partnership will support the delivery of Pride Cup sporting events across regional and rural Australia, the development of educational materials, and initiatives which work to increase the engagement of the LGBTI+ population in sport.

It will also provide the opportunity for NAB regional employees to participate in locally run inclusion training sessions with competing teams at local clubs.

Pride Cup Australia Liaison Manager Kara Montoneri is the mother of two young children, one of whom is a transgender male, and is thrilled to see the Pride Cup initiative go from strength to strength.

“When I stood on the sidelines at the Yarra Valley Pride Cup with my kids, and looked around and saw so many rainbow and transgender pride flags, and the local community attending in support – I welled up with tears.

“An event like this shows all people that they are welcome to play, and are welcome to attend, no matter of their gender or sexuality.

“The feeling of inclusion and acceptance was amazing. It really gave me hope that my children will be treated equally and with equity while playing the sports they love.

“Social inclusion is an incredibly important contributor to everyone’s health and wellbeing.

“When a group feel that they cannot participate in sports and exercise, not only are they missing out on the physical health benefits, but also the mental health and wellbeing only found as part of a team or sporting club.”

NAB first sponsored the Yarra Valley Pride Cup in 2013, with the new agreement with Pride Cup Australia a national expansion of that ongoing partnership.

As of February last year, Pride Cup was supporting 11 annual pride matches in Victoria, with a goal of reaching 150 clubs around Australia.

The partnership was officially launched on Sunday May 5 at the sixth annual Yarra Valley Pride Cup.

Further reading: How Pride Cup is helping to give LGBTI people equal footing on the sports field

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