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VicHealth continues to promote LGBTI+ inclusion in community sport

VicHealth continues to promote LGBTI+ inclusion in community sport
June 26, 2020

VicHealth has today announced a new partnership with Proud 2 Play and South West Sport to increase inclusion of LGBTI+ people and tackle discrimination and vilification in community sport.

The new initiative will support Victorian sports clubs to stamp out homophobic and transphobic language and behaviour on and off the field and create supportive club cultures so LGBTI+ players, volunteers and fans feel safe and comfortable to be themselves.

Foundations of LGBTI+ inclusion in community sport aims to increase awareness and knowledge about LGBTI+ inclusion in sports clubs through a series of online education modules.

VicHealth Executive Manager of Programs, Kirstan Corben said sports clubs will play a key role in supporting people to reconnect with their community during the Coronavirus recovery so it’s critical everyone feels welcome.

Corben notes “we want all Victorians to feel they belong at a sports club regardless of their gender or sexual identity – who you are and who you love shouldn’t stop you from playing the sport you love.

“It’s unacceptable that 40% of LGBTI+ Australians have felt unsafe or vulnerable in a sporting environment. Homophobic sledges and excluding someone because of their sexuality should never be part of sport in Victoria.

“We know grassroots sports clubs want to be places where everyone feels they belong. This initiative is about giving them the tools they need to ensure LGBTI+ players, fans, officials and volunteers feel part of the team.”

Proud 2 Play Chief Executive, Christine Granger said community sports clubs play a vital role in bringing our communities together and creating a sense of connection for members but highlighted that “many members of the LGBTI+ community do not feel that sport is a safe and welcoming space for them.

“Inclusive environments play a key role in addressing these feelings and this initiative aims to provide community clubs with some of the tools they need create safe and welcoming environments.”

South West Sport Chief Executive, Michael Neoh said more needs to be done at a community sport level to encourage LGBTI+ inclusion.

Neoh advised “sporting clubs act as social and physical activity hubs within our communities. However in some instances, not everyone shares the same experience while participating in sport and active recreation activities.

“South West Sport is excited to be collaborating with VicHealth and Proud 2 Play on an initiative that provides volunteers and members the tools and insights to create safer spaces for all.”

For more information on LGBTI+ inclusion in sport go to https://www.proud2play.org.au/

Image courtesy of Proud 2 Play

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