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Anti-Homophobia in sport campaign wins international awards
A volunteer-run Australian campaign to educate the public and tackle homophobia in sport has received two prestigious international awards for its impact on global sport.
Members of Australia's first gay rugby union team - The Convicts - and organisers of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 organising committee, led a wide range of homophobia-in-sport initiatives as part of hosting last year’s Bingham Cup, the World Cup of gay rugby.
The campaign will receive a ‘Stevie’ trophy, the top award in the category of ‘Non-Governmental Organisation,’ at the Golden World Awards in September.
The campaign also took home the gold at the recent PR Week Asia awards in Hong Kong, winning in the category of ‘Public Education of the Year’ - considered the top award for communication campaigns in the Asia Pacific region.
These two honours are the latest to be awarded to the anti-homophobia campaign and the team behind it, following the Bingham Cup’s ‘Event of the Year’ win at the NSW Sports Awards - the first for a LGBTI event - and ‘Community Organisation of the Year’ at the NSW Honour Awards.
‘Tackling Homophobia in Sport’ was the creation of a team of volunteers from Australia’s first gay rugby team, the Sydney Convicts, and others involved in the organising committee for 2014’s Bingham Cup in Sydney.
The initiative of tackling homophobia in sport has also received high praise from Australian rugby icon John Eales and Federal Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull.
Eales stated “until recently there was little political will to address homophobia in sport because I think people simply didn’t fully understand the problem.
“The Sydney Convicts put a human face to the impact of homophobic behaviour on gay athletes, making it hard to deny the need for change.”
Minister Turnbull added “as a long-time advocate for equality I was greatly impressed by the ability of these passionate rugby players to draw attention to discrimination of LGBTI athletes.”
“Over the years, particularly over the last 18 months, they have elevated the need to address homophobia in sport onto the national agenda and united people who are normally competitors to work together on this important issue.”
The campaign that originally started out as an effort to address homophobia in rugby grew to include commitments from all five major sporting codes in Australia.
Its reach has also gone far beyond Australia, with organisations in Canada, the US, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK looking to adopt and recreate the campaign for local audiences.
Recently the Convicts gave the opening presentation at New Zealand Rugby Union forum on homophobia in sport.
The team behind the ‘Tackling Homophobia in Sport’ have launched a crowd-funding campaign to help fund additional work in affecting change in other countries where homophobia is still highly prevalent in sport.
To find out more, visit www.gofundme.com/tacklehomophobia
3rd November 2014 - YOU CAN PLAY FORUM TO TACKLE HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA IN SPORT
31st August 2014 - BINGHAM CUP ORGANISERS REPORT ON ANTI-HOMOPHOBIA FRAMEWORK
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