THE Sydney University AFL club is holding a pride game to promote inclusivity and fight homophobia in sports.

Next Saturday June 17, the club will hold a day of games, raffles and entertainment, with the main pride game at 4:30 pm.

Chris Browne is Sydney University’s only out gay player. He’s been with the club for five seasons, and came out at the end of the first year.

Browne said the club has been very welcoming of him since he came out.

“It’s a club that’s been very supportive of me coming out, making sure I’m okay and comfortable,” he said.

“Obviously it’s a big step to come out within a sporting environment where it’s predominantly male-based and straight-based.

“It could have gone two ways, and I’ve seen it go very negative ways, but across the board everyone’s been very supportive. The club has been excellent through this process.”

Browne said the club is very LGBTI-friendly and there are no problems with inclusivity. The pride game came about to create awareness of LGBTI community issues and fight to eliminate homophobia in the wider sporting world.

“It’s a topic close to my heart,” said Browne.

“I’ve been at a couple of clubs where some really negative things have happened to myself as well as to other people, so an inclusive club environment is really important to allowing people to be themselves.

“It’s important to give kids in the community the opportunity to go out and play sport without fear of retribution or being picked on or bullied.”

The Wednesday before the pride game day, advocacy group Proud2Play will hold an education session with the club to combat homophobia.

All profits from the day will be donated to beyondblue.

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