Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia, National Rugby League and Athletics Australia are among a range of sporting bodies and individuals who have been recognised for their efforts in advancing LGBTQ inclusion at the Australian Pride in Sport Awards, held at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.
Celebrating its fourth year, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards is the country’s premier celebration dedicated to recognising outstanding efforts in making sport more inclusive for LGBTQ people. It is produced by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program spearheaded by Australia’s largest LGBTQ health organisation, ACON.
BlocHaus Port Melbourne was recognised as the Sporting Organisation of the Year, as well as reaching the highest-level tier for LGBTQ inclusion. The Glam Slam at the Australian Open received the Inclusive Initiative Award, while Touch Football Australia and Athletics Australia’s Jane Russo took out the LGBTQ Ally of the Year Award. Guardian Australia journalist Megan Maurice received the Positive Media Award for her barrier-tackling article, Tackling homophobic attitudes: the straight men who play for gay rugby clubs.
The awards showcase the results of the Australian Pride in Sport Index– a national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTQ inclusion within Australian sport.
This year’s PSI marks a milestone with the awarding of Gold status – the highest benchmark level – to five organisations: Cricket Australia, BlocHaus Port Melbourne, Macquarie University Sport, Tennis Australia and RMIT University Sport. Silver recognition was awarded to the Sydney Sixers BBL Cricket Club, Cricket Victoria, Hockey Victoria and Hockey Australia, and Bronze went to National Rugby League, Football Victoria, Athletics Australia and Touch Football Australia.
Community recognition is also a fundamental part of the awards with accolades going to grassroot individuals and clubs across various sporting codes for their efforts in making their respective sports more inclusive.
“Despite recent disruptions that we all faced around the country, many of Australia’s sporting organisations are demonstrating their continued dedication in ensuring that LGBTQ people are welcome in their respective sport,” said Co-Founder of the Pride in Sport Index, Andrew Purchas.
“As demonstrated by the global-first joint launch of inclusion measures for trans and gender diverse people undertaken last year by major Australian sporting codes, many organisations have heard the growing demand throughout the country to ensure sport is welcoming of everyone.”
“They are taking the positive steps needed to ensure a person’s sexuality and/or gender identity and is not a barrier to being able to participate, spectate or volunteer with sport at any level.”
“I congratulate all the award recipients and nominees, along with many others working towards making Australian sport an inclusive place for everyone. I’m proud of all their efforts and to celebrate those success stories at the Pride in Sport Awards today,” said Mr Purchas.
The awards ceremony was emceed by ABC journalist and last year’s Media Award recipient, Mon Schafter, who was joined by Pride in Sport co-patrons – Australian cricket icon Alex Blackwell and NRL legend Ian Roberts.
“Since it was established in 2016, the Pride in Sport Index has continued to see a tangible shift in practice with LGBTQ inclusion work in Australian sport,” said National Program Manager for Pride in Sport Beau Newell. “With a wide and growing range of sporting organisations participating, we are seeing greater and demonstrable commitments to providing safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for sexuality and gender diverse people.
“As society becomes more inclusive, so too must sport. There is more to be done to ensure sport – whether on or off the field – is inclusive of everyone and that every person feels welcome as they are, in the sport they love. Everyone has fundamental right to participate in sport.”
“I would like to congratulate all sporting codes, clubs, athletes, administrators, support staff and the many volunteers on the efforts they are making to ensure everyone is welcome and supported in sport,” said Newell.
For more information about Pride In Sport and the Pride In Sport Index, visit: www.prideinsport.com.au for details.
Image: RainbowHaus – courtesy of BlocHaus
2021 Australian Pride in Sport Award Recipients:
Sporting Organisation of the Year:
BlocHaus Port Melbourne
Community Sporting Organisation of the Year:
Climbing QTs (Rock Climbing)
Achievement Award for Most Improved:
Melbourne University Sport
LGBTQ Ally Award:
Jane Russo, Touch Football Australia & Athletics Australia
LGBTQ Out Role Model:
Reid Smith, Perth Pythons Hockey Club
LGBTQ Inclusive Coach:
Greg Jaekel, Curtin University Goats / Perth Rams
LGBTQ Positive Media Award:
“Tackling homophobic attitudes: the straight men who play for gay rugby clubs” – Megan Maurice, The Guardian
LGBTQ Community Sport Award:
Bushrangers Sporting Alliance
LGBTQ Inclusion Initiative:
Glam Slam at the Australian Open
BlocHaus Port Melbourne, MQ Sport, Tennis Australia, Cricket Australia, RMIT University Sport
Sydney Sixers, Cricket Victoria, Hockey Victoria, Hockey Australia
National Rugby League, Football Victoria, Athletics Australia, Touch Football Australia