New course to combat LGBTI+ discrimination in sport

The program, Creating an LGBTI+ Inclusive Sports Club, is an Australian-first e-learning course designed to give clubs a baseline understanding of LGBTI+ communities, the discrimination they can face in taking part in sport and how clubs can be more inclusive of all participants regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.

The course will be launched on 22 September with a special online event. The event will include a panel discussion featuring Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley, former AFLW player Moana Hope, leading inclusion researcher Dr Ruth Jeanes and Australia’s first openly gay professional men’s footballer Andy Brennan. The panel will be hosted by ex-Australian cricketer and current commentator, Mel Jones.

Downloadable resources have also been created to complement the e-learning course and assist clubs in achieving meaningful change. These include inclusion guidelines, an LGBTI+ inclusion checklist, community and club engagement tips and club room posters.

Dr Ryan Storr, Vice President, Proud 2 Play said the team was proud to present these resources to the community after many months of hard work.

“There have been limited resources available specifically on LGBTI+ inclusion for Australian sports clubs and these resources will fill that gap,” Dr Storr said.

Dr Storr said providing digital resources to clubs was an important step given the current situation in Victoria.

“Having a range of e-learning resources will complement the face to face education work Proud 2 Play and South West Sport already do in Victoria and open up the conversations we can have with people right across Australia,” he said.

“Providing virtual education opportunities for clubs is extremely important, especially with COVID-19 limiting our ability to interact face to face with one another.”

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said the resources available through the program will provide grassroots clubs with support on how to be more LGBTI+ inclusive.

“It’s been great to work with Proud 2 Play to bring these Australian-first resources together,” he said.

“This course and the accompanying resources will support clubs to take action to ensure all LGBTI+ Victorians feel welcome and supported in every sporting environment across our State.”

Deborah Jones, board member with Archery Victoria, said the resources which will be available to local clubs will be hugely beneficial in making LGBTIQ+ people feel welcome in those environments.

“As a board member for Archery Victoria, I wanted to do my bit to make sure our clubs and sport are as inclusive as we can make them, so I could see the need for a tool for myself and others to gain some of that knowledge.” she said.

“The personal stories and presentations from LGBTIQ+ people gave me a sense of, and sympathy for, their concerns, which made me think about how those concerns might play out in practice in our own sport. The checklist type material for the clubs will hopefully help close the loop in terms of converting understanding into action for local clubs.

“It will get you thinking outside the box about how your sport can move into a better future.”

The launch event will be hosted by Vicsport. Registration for the event is available here.

Date: Tuesday 22 September

Time: 10am

Duration: 50 mins

Guests:

  • Mel Jones OAM(she/her) – Ex-Australian cricketer, current commentator (MC)

  • Moana Hope (she/her) – ex-AFLW player and Nike Athlete

  • Craig Tiley (he/his) – CEO, Tennis Australia

  • Dr Ruth Jeanes (she/her) – Associate Professor, Monash University

  • Andy Brennan (he/his) – Proud 2 Play Board Member, ex-A-League player

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