Pride Cup to mark third year in bringing diversity to Australia’s favourite sport

Pride Cup 2015 - photo by Theo Karanikos / AFL MediaKinglake and Yarra Glen will show their support for diversity and inclusion in sport as they battle for the 3rd annual Pride Cup on Saturday 16 April 2016.

The match between the 2015 league finalists Kinglake and the currently undefeated Pride Cup champions Yarra Glen will be played at the Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve and will include a range of football and netball games throughout the day as part of the AFL Yarra Ranges league.

The football ground will feature rainbow colours, the international symbol of gay pride, at the 50m line in a show of support for LGBTI inclusion that has been embraced by the teams, the local community and the AFL.

Pride Cup celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI). Now in its third year, Pride Cup recently won a VicHealth award for promoting health through sport – and has inspired the St Kilda Football Club and the Sydney Swans to start a national Pride Cup.

Teams who participate in the Pride Cup receive diversity and inclusion training in the lead up to the event by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria with support from Yarra Ranges Council, AFL and Netball Victoria.

A Pride Cup luncheon for league coaches will further spread the message of inclusion with speakers including Victoria’s Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Rowena Allen and openly gay Channel 9 News Presenter Peter Hitchener.

Pride Cup organiser Jason Ball says the Pride Cup is important in continuing to spread the importance of diversity and inclusion at the grass roots level. “Many young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex self- select themselves out of sports like AFL and netball because they don’t believe they are supportive or inclusive environments,” said Jason.

“The Pride Cup is not just a show of support for the LGBTI community, it is about educating our clubs, our coaches and our players about the diversity and sporting talent that exists in our community. It is about making sure that our local footy and netball clubs are open for all.”

The 3rd Pride Cup on Saturday 16 April will include a range of football and netball games ending with the senior Pride Cup football match at 2.10pm and the presentation of the Pride Cup at 4.30pm. For more information visit: www.pridecup.org.au for details.

Image: Pride Cup 2015 – photo by Theo Karanikos / AFL Media

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