Vicsport's LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Stance
“There is a place in sport for everyone, exactly as you are.”
The message above encapsulates Vicsport’s stance and is the central theme to all aspects of our work. We are committed to helping sports create safe, fun, and inclusive environments for all people – while denouncing homophobia/transphobia and biphobia.
As the peak body for sport in Victoria, Vicsport is passionate about helping people lead happy, healthy, and active lives while celebrating diversity of sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, intersex status, ability, skill, cultural background, ethnicity, location, religious or political beliefs and life stage. Being inclusive not only reflects our core values and is a feature of our new Strategic Plan for 2021-2025, but reflects the diversity of Victorian communities.
Our LGBTIQ+ inclusion webpage includes information on why being inclusive is important for the sport and recreation industry. Approximately 11% of Australia’s population identifies as LGBTIQ+, yet, LGBTIQ+ communities comprise of some of the lowest rates of participation in sport, recreation and physical activity. As an industry we need to do better to ensure all people feel welcome on our courts, pitches and grounds.
The webpage also outlines organisations that can assist you in promoting and celebrating diversity such as Proud 2 Play and Pride in Sport as well as additional resources including a language guide, days of significance and inclusion tips.
Through our own work with Proud 2 Play, Vicsport has joined the Rainbow Sports Alliance which is a working group consisting of several SSAs and organisations that work collaboratively to enhance LGBTIQ+ inclusion across the Victorian sports landscape.
A number of staff members, including myself, have undertaken Proud 2 Play’s two-part Inclusive Leadership course which covered how to better understand inclusion in the sporting community and how to enact change as a leader. I would encourage other leaders of sport to also take part in this course.
We have also partnered with Proud 2 Play to create the Rainbow Roadmap, a guide for sport organisations to become rainbow ready – meaning LGBTIQ+ practices, processes and policies are embedded into core business.
There is a five-step plan for organisations to achieve this goal, advancing through stages of Assess, Educate, Consult, Engage and Enact. Proud 2 Play works closely with organisations along the journey and our goal is for all Victorian sport organisations to achieve rainbow ready status by 2023.
Your organisation may join the Roadmap partway along the journey depending on previous inclusion work or you may join at the beginning but we encourage all sports to pledge their dedication to become rainbow ready.
While I believe the sport and recreation industry is heading in the right direction in terms of LBGTIQ+ inclusion, I know it is a continual learning process and we still have a lot of work to do. However, Vicsport is committed to continuing our own education and supporting the industry to do the same.