Vicsport is committed to providing a safe, fun and inclusive environment for all people, including those of diverse sexualities, genders and sex characteristics. 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 as well as a Rainbow Roadmap to assist sport organisations in achieving rainbow ready status.
Alongside Proud 2 Play, Vicsport's vision is that all Victorian sport associations provide safe, inclusive and affirming opportunities for LGBTIQ+ people to enjoy the benefits of sport and active recreation. Our goal is that by 2023, all Victorian sport organisations will achieve rainbow ready status, meaning LGBTIQ+ practices, processes and policies are embedded into core business.
Following the launch of the Rainbow Roadmap, over 60 sport organisations have signed up to begin their journey to rainbow ready status. Join Vicsport on the journey and get all the latest information through the Rainbow Roadmap mailing list by signing up here.
More information on the Rainbow Roadmap can be found here.
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.
Proud 2 Play, with assistance from VicHealth, have developed a series of resources on LGBTIQ+ inclusion for Australian sports clubs. Gain access to an Australian-first e-learning course on the Play By The Rules website which provides foundation knowledge on LGBTIQ+ inclusion for Australian sports clubs.
The hub also features a range of additional resources including rainbow and transgender posters to indicate your club is a safe space, tip sheets on how to engage the community and how to talk to your club's committee about LGBTI+ inclusion as well as a checklist to help find areas where you can become more inclusive of LGBTIQ+ people.
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.
Vicsport is proud to have earned Bronze Tier Status on the Pride in Sport Index 2023-26.
- Advice is available for LGBTI travellers from smarttraveller.com.au. This webpage includes advice for before you travel, awareness around local laws and customs, same-sex relationships, specific advice for trans, non-binary and/or intersex travellers and how to reduce risks.
There are also additional links including the Trans Legal Mapping Report from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, a map of countries that criminalise LGBTI people from Human Dignity Trust and Global Anti-LGBTQ+ Laws via Human Rights Watch.
- ClimbingQT's have developed an online training and education opportunity designed by experts in diversity, equity and inclusion work as well as intersectional LGBTIQ+ lived experience. Booking a 30-minute Ally Training consultation session will help you achieve your inclusion goals and also features access to their LGBTIQ+ Handbook, regularly updated with feedback from members of their community.
- Utilising a planning grant from VicHealth and undertaken by Proud2Play, Football Victoria completed extensive research into 'LGBTI+ Inclusion in Football'. View the summary document.
For more information on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport, feel free to contact the following internal and external support providers:
Michaela Cook (She/Her)
Vicsport Participation and Inclusion Manager
*Please note all support received by Vicsport will be confidential.
Proud 2 Play operate in all levels of the sporting community to work towards creating more inclusive environments for LGBTI+ people. They know inclusion in sport cannot happen overnight and believe in offering ongoing support to ensure true progress is made.
This service provider provides confidential support for LGBTIQ+ identifying people and those who have questions or concerns about LGBTIQA+ issues. Switchboard also welcomes contact from people who may not be LGBTIQA+ but who want to talk about someone else they care about. This includes families, friends, coaches, peers, and co-workers of LGBTIQA+ people.
QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTIQ+ peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. The QLife family includes hundreds of highly experienced LGBTIQ+ staff and volunteers Australia-wide. If you’re looking to connect with someone to explore what’s going on in your life, they are available to take your call or webchat.