Tennis Australia has been named one of Australia’s best sporting organisations for LGBTIQ+ inclusion at the recent Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne.
The awards, which recognise exceptional efforts in making sport more inclusive for LGBTIQ+ people, were launched last year and are the first of their kind in Australia.
This year, the top award was given to both Tennis Australia and Melbourne University Sport. Cricket Victoria was recognised as the Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation, while the St Kilda Football Club took home the award for the Highest Ranking Professional Club.
The awards showcase the result of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI), a national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTIQ+ inclusion within Australian sport.
ACON Vice-President and Co-Founder of the PSI, Andrew Purchas, said the past year had highlighted the continued struggles facing LGBTIQ+ people in sport.
“These awards and the index continue to highlight the important inclusion work being done by many within Australian sport, as they provide sporting organisations and figures with an opportunity to reflect on their work in the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ participants and staff, and identify areas they can address to ensure their sport is truly inclusive,” he said.
“Many of Australia’s sporting organisations are taking the positive steps needed to be taken to ensure your sexuality, gender identity and experience does not impact your ability to play, watch or be involved with sport at any level.
“I congratulate all the award recipients and the many others working towards making Australian sport an inclusive place for everyone and I’m proud to celebrate those success stories at the Pride in Sport Awards today.”
The awards were hosted by NITV presenter and former Star Observer cover star Matty Webb, and featured a host of leading and sporting community figures, including a keynote address from Matt Cecchin, the first openly gay NRL referee.
This year’s PSI results saw a 61 per cent increase in index submissions, highlighting the focus sporting groups are beginning to put on LGBTIQ+ inclusion.
Award nominations from the wider community also rose by 70 per cent.
Program Manager for Pride in Sport, Beau Newell, said the index had continued to see a significant shift in practice with LGBTIQ+ inclusion work in Australian sport.
“With a wide range of sporting organisations participating, we are seeing more and more commitments to providing safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for LGBTIQ+ people,” he said.
“While inclusion has well and truly made its way onto the Australian workplace diversity and inclusion agenda, there is more to be done to ensure that sport in Australia can experience greater levels of LGBTIQ+ inclusion.”
The awards were produced by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program spearheaded by Australia’s largest LGBTIQ+ health organisation ACON.
See a full list of this year’s winners below.
|Highest Ranking Overall||Melbourne University Sport and Tennis Australia|
|Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation||Cricket Victoria|
|Highest Ranking Professional Club||St Kilda Football Club|
|LGBTI Ally Award||David Kyle, North Gippsland Football & Netball League|
|LGBTI Inclusive Coach||Aaron Lucas, Sydney Roller Derby League|
|LGBTI Community Sport||Perth Pythons LGBTI+ Hockey Club|
|LGBTI Out Role Model||Tony Boutoubia (Tennis)|
|LGBTI Inclusion Initiative||LGBTIQA+ Women’s Water Polo Program (Sydney Stingers Water Polo)|
|Small Club Award||Loton Park Tennis Club|