THE National Water Polo League’s (NWPL) Pride Cup will be played in Brisbane for the first time this year, helping to champion diversity and inclusion in sport.

This year the Brisbane Barracudas will host their local rivals the Queensland Breakers for the Pride Cup during round seven of the NWPL.

The inaugural Pride Cup was played in Melbourne last year between the Victorian Seals and the Queensland Breakers, an event that was hailed as a success and also saw a game between Australia’s longest-running LGBTI-inclusive water polo clubs Melbourne Surge and Sydney Stingers.

Ahead of this year’s Pride Cup clash an all-stars Pride Shield match will also take place.

The Brisbane Tritons, Melbourne Surge, Sydney Stingers, and one development team member from the Brisbane Barracudas and Queensland Breakers will help to form two all-star teams to play for the newly created Pride Shield.

President of the Brisbane Tritons, Jeremy Archer, said being able to host both the Pride Cup and the Pride Shield is an honour for the team.

“Having all three LGBTI-inclusive teams in the pool with the national league players in the all-stars game helps to break down barriers and stereotypes in sport and that is something that all five clubs are extremely proud of,” he said.

Water Polo Queensland strongly supported the move to bring the Pride Cup to Brisbane in order to help promote the game and diversity within the sport.

Chief Executive of Water Polo Queensland, Robert Donaghue, said they wanted to help represent the diverse LGBTI community.

“As a sport, especially an Olympic sport, we want to represent the entire community,” he said.

“We’re proud that we have two clubs who work tirelessly within the LGBTI community to promote our sport and provide a safe, fun, social environment for people to get fit and healthy.”

To celebrate diversity and inclusion in water polo, the venue of the Pride Cup and Pride Shield will be transformed.

Supporters will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment and food offers throughout the evening.

The Pride Cup festivities will start from 4pm on Saturday 25 February at Valley Pool.  The Pride Cup matches are scheduled to start at 5pm, with the all-stars Pride Shield game starting at 6.30pm. Tickets will be available to purchase at the door for $10.

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