Stand Up Events and Monash University are hosting a gala night in Melbourne on Wednesday September 6 to raise funds to help create an equal and inclusive culture in sport.

The Stand By Me spring gala will raise funds for research and programs to fight homophobia in sport.

Erik Denison from Monash University, lead researcher of the Out on the Fields project that was the first of its kind to examine homophobia in sport, said homophobia is very common in Australia and around the world.

“In 2014, Australia’s major sporting organisations all made public commitments to eliminate homophobia,” he said.

“Since then, sporting organisations around the world have made similar commitments, including the Premier League in the UK and New Zealand Rugby.”

The Out on the Fields report found that 73 per cent of participants thought team sport was not a safe environment for gay, lesbian and bisexual kids. In Australia, 80 per cent participants had witnessed or experienced homophobic behaviour in sport.

The gala will help fund further research into how to combat homophobia in sport and support educational programs.

“The results of our research will be of great interest to sports in Australia, as well as sporting organisations around the world,” said Denison.

“Unfortunately, almost no research has been conducted anywhere in the world into how to change homophobic behaviour in sport. This research will fill a major gap in knowledge.”

The spring gala will include a two-course meal, drinks, entertainment, a DJ, and guest speakers from the sporting world.

Tickets to the gala are available online until Monday.

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