Four new leading sporting organisations have joined Victoria’s Proud2Plays’ Rainbow Sports Alliance.
We still have a way to go when it comes to inclusion in sport. But with Netball Victoria, Gymnastics Victoria, Hockey Victoria and Melbourne University coming together with Cricket Victoria, Football Victoria, Tennis Victoria and Athletics Australia/Athletics Victoria, it shows a willingness to grow and do better so that all can feel included in sport.
“We have come a long way in the past three years when Proud2Play only had one partnered sporting organisation, and now we have ten,” Luke Major from Proud2Play told the Star Observer.
“It’s great to see these organisations are turning to us and saying how can we do better, and we are proud to offer them that support.”
All the teams came together in August for the Rainbow Sports Alliance and discussed their individual challenges and successes in LGBTQI inclusion, creating a forum where they can all share ideas and learn from one another to work together in advancing LGBTI inclusion within Victoria as a whole, and not just their individual sports.
“Everyone talked about what they had done so far and what they wanted to achieve, and it was really inspiring to see that so many people committed to making their sports inclusive of LGBTI people,” Major said.
“Sports aren’t alone in this and they can really lean off one another to do good things.”
Each sport is different, so tackling LGBTQI inclusivity can mean different things depending on how you play, but discussions that come out of the Rainbow Sports Alliance show that no matter how different the game, you can all come at inclusion issues with the same approach.
“To deal with inclusion you just have to have an open mind, you just have to be open to trying to help solve the challenges that others might face within your sport, whether individual or team based,” Major said.
“Showing our LGBTI communities that these organisations are really trying to make a difference is so important. We focus on education and implementing policy, as well as running a participation programs and now we can build on that by helping these organisations to improve their visibility of LGBTI people in their sports.”
“Pride Rounds are fantastic celebrations on a day, but once that goes away, there needs to be ongoing support and work that really drives institutional change. Things like education and inclusive policies may not be as sexy as a pride round, but they are some of the more important parts that create that institutional change. And that is what we are working towards.”