Vicsport is committed to providing a safe, fun and inclusive environment for all people, including those of diverse sexualities and genders. Being inclusive not only reflects our core values but reflects the diversity of Victorian communities.
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. There is a place in sport for everyone, exactly as you are.
WHY IS LGBTIQ+ INCLUSION IMPORTANT
The LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) community make up an estimated 11% of Australia's population but research shows LGBTIQ+ people have some of the lowest rates of participation in sport, recreation and physical activity out of any community in society. Avoidance of participation is often linked to poor experiences in sport due to discrimination or harassment. Australian research shows that:
- Over 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport
- 87% of gay males and 75% of lesbians are completely or partially in the closet while playing youth sports
- Sport is considered hostile and unwelcoming to young people with diverse sexualities and genders
- 37% of LGBTIQ+ people aged 16 and over reported being diagnosed or treated for a mental health disorder in the past three years
- Transgender people aged 18 and over are nearly eleven times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime.
As a result of poor inclusion efforts, many LGBTIQ+ people miss out on the physical, mental and social benefits that participating in sport and physical activity can bring. Sport has an amazing opportunity to not only increase membership opportunities, but also improve these people's lives.
WHO CAN HELP YOU INCREASE LGBTIQ+ INCLUSION
There are many different ways to promote and celebrate diversity within your sport and improve LGBTIQ+ inclusion. Below is a list of organisations that are devoted to assisting sports take action in LGBTIQ+ engagement.
Proud 2 Play is the peak organisation to support Vicsport members in this area and is the only LGBTIQ+ organisation with State Sport and Recreation Body recognition. Focusing on increasing LGBTIQ+ engagement in sport, exercise and active recreation, Proud 2 Play works with all levels of the sporting community, from individual participants and grassroots communities, to state and national sporting organisations.They seek to encourage LGBTIQ+ people (as well as their allies, friends and families) to participate and engage in sport and exercise by providing structured opportunities and pathways for them to do so while also promoting the physical, mental and social benefits of sport. Find out more.
RAINBOW SPORTS ALLIANCE
An Australian first, the Rainbow Sports Alliance is a Proud 2 Play facilitated working group consisting of a number of State Sporting Associations (SSAs) and organisations that work collaboratively to enhance LGBTIQ+ inclusion across the Victorian sports landscape.
The Rainbow Sports Alliance convenes regularly to discuss individual successes and challenges in LGBTIQ+ inclusion, creating a forum where ideas can be shared and transferred between SSAs while helping to advance LGBTIQ+ inclusion within Victoria as a whole.
If you are interested in joining the Rainbow Sports Alliance, contact Proud 2 Play here.
Pride Cup began as a powerful gesture of mateship in a country footy club when the Yarra Glen Football Netball Club supported teammate Jason Ball in coming out as gay in 2012. Since then, Pride Cup has grown into a national organisation dedicated to promoting LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport.
They work to break down the barriers to participation faced by the LGBTIQ+ community through education and hosting welcoming Pride Cup events in community sports clubs across metropolitan, regional and rural areas. Pride Cup is focused on improving the health and well-being of all Australians and believe that everyone should feel safe participating in sport and physical activity as their true selves.
Pride in Sport is a sporting inclusion
program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting
organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ employees, players,
coaches, volunteers and spectators.
Their Membership Program is designed to assist Australian sporting organisations with all aspects of LGBTIQ+ inclusion, work with members to achieve best practice and create better health outcomes for LGBTIQ+ players, coaches, fans and others by creating inclusive spaces though the reduction of homophobia, stigma and discrimination.
An initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission and Sport Australia, the Pride in Sport Index is the first and only bench-marking instrument specifically designed to assess the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people within Australian sport and sporting organisations.
Participating in the index allows Australian sporting organisations to not only assess their own practices, but determine that which constitutes good practice, along with the ability to benchmark their own initiatives against an external measure and other sporting organisations.