*UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Pride In Sport Awards and LGBTQ Inclusion Awards have been postponed until later in the year. More information can be found here.
Returning to Melbourne in April 2020 for its third year, the annual Pride in Sports Awards will celebrate achievements in LGBTI inclusion within Australian sports for all National and State level sporting codes.
Pride in Sports was established in NSW by ACON as a part of the Pride Inclusion Programs. It is Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist all levels of sports, from National and State sporting organisations to grass roots clubs, LGBTI employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators.
Beau Newell, National Program Manager for Pride in Sports, reminds us of the importance of these awards.
“As someone who is extremely passionate about sport, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards are very close to my heart as they continue to highlight the important inclusion work being done by many within Australian sport.”
The cocktail event will feature keynote speaker Adam Hills, internationally renowned host of UK talk show The Last Leg and five times Gold Logie nominated comedian. Hills was selected not only as one of Australia’s best-known comedians, but as a long-time supporter of the LGBTI communities – often advocating for equality and inclusion in Australia and across the world.
Crowd favourite and Pride in Sports patron Alex Blackwell will also be returning to the awards. As a former Australian cricket captain who led her country to World Cup and Ashes victories, Blackwell is well known for standing up for equal opportunities for all people within sport and broader society, including equitable pay for female athletes, the inclusion of people living with a disability, LGBTI people and regional Australians in all levels of sport.
Each year, several awards are given out based on the Pride in Sports Index (PSI), a joint initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission and Sport Australia, and a legacy of the Bingham Cup, Sydney.
These organisations commissioned Pride in Diversity to develop a Pride in Sport Index as a result of the Out on the Fields study from May 2015 – the largest study exploring homophobia in international sport.
The PSI is the only benchmarking instrument specifically designed to assess the inclusion of LGBTIQ individuals within Australian sport and sporting organisations.
Pride in Sports believes that actively participating in the PSI will encourage Australian sporting organisations to gauge their current policies and initiatives against an independent external measure, while also assisting in creating guidelines of what constitutes good polices in the future across multiple sporting organisations.
“The Pride in Sports Awards have set the platform for sports who are doing well in this space to promote their work and their focus on LGBTI inclusion, with the aim of getting more LGBTI people involved in their codes and organisations. This has a follow-on affect with helping reduce homophobic and transphobic cultural attitudes that have persisted with Australian sport for decades.”
At the 2019 Pride in Sport Awards, the Highest Ranking Overall award recognised joint recipients Tennis Australia and Melbourne University Sport. Cricket Victoria was acknowledged as the Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation, while the St. Kilda Football Club received the award for the Highest Ranking Professional Club.
Perth Pythons LGBTI+ Hockey Club, LGBTIQA+ Women’s Water Polo Program (Sydney Stingers Water Polo) and Loton Park Tennis Club were also among those recognised for their achievements.
“To know that sporting organisations are working hard to make people like me and everyone in our communities feel more welcome and included means the world,” Newell told Star Observer.
The 2020 Pride in Sports Awards will be held in style on the South Wharf Promenade in Melbourne on Wednesday 1 April 2020.
For a full list of awards, to purchase tickets or find any further information, please visit www.prideinsport.com.au/awards