From the Australian Open and its inaugural Pride Day to the AFL and AFLW’s Pride Rounds, the celebration and promotion of LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport continues to gather momentum. Add to that the increased visibility of LGBTIQ+ athletes, including the footballer Josh Cavallo and non-binary AFLW players Darcy Vescio and Tori Groves-Little, it signifies an important chapter in Australian sport, as journeys towards the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people proudly gets stronger each year. Carey Sport in its sixth year of hosting the Carey Pride Round at Bulleen and continues to support what we are seeing in professional sporting leagues across the country.
Pride celebrations are opportunities to address problems associated with discrimination and equity surrounding LGBTIQ+ people, whilst celebrating LGBTIQ+ people involved in their sport, their achievements, and the ongoing challenges they experience. They are a specific type of diversity work whereby efforts are made to fix and address the problem of exclusion and marginalisation of LGBTIQ+ people in sport.
Pride games are celebratory in nature and a community development strategy which seeks to build trust, and to welcome and invite LGBTIQ+ communities into sporting spaces. They are needed to help normalise inclusion as part of sporting structures, whilst creating conversations whereby people can learn, be educated, and connect with LGBTIQ+ people. Evidence around the impact of these events is encouraging too: research shows that community Pride cups and Pride-themed celebrations have a positive influence on fostering supporting environments for LGBTIQ+ players. Providing our students at Carey with such a positive and inclusive sporting environment is vital to fostering the same approach and impact we see in professional sporting codes around Australia.
There is evidence to show that several sports in Australia are now on their path towards the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people, but there is still much work to do, and as recent controversies have shown, it may be a bumpy ride along the way. At the forefront of this work must be trans and gender diverse people, who are disproportionately affected by exclusion in sport. The sport sector is better off and a stronger institution with LGBTIQ+ people in it. By letting discrimination linger, we reduce opportunities to find the next Olympic champion, coach or volunteer, but more importantly, we lose the ability to positively impact the life of an LGBTIQ+ person.
We were proud of our Carey teams on Saturday and our continued support of the Carey Pride sports round.
Carey sport – we love it!
Head of Sport
Leader of Learning – Art and Design, Pride Group co-ordinator