Category : Sport

Queensland University of Technology announce partnership with Pride in Sport

Queensland University of Technology (QUT), a member of ACON’s Pride in Diversity Inclusion Program have committed to further develop the inclusion of LGBTQ people across university programs and initiatives announcing a new partnership with the Australian Pride in Sport program.

Adam Williams, QUT Director of Student Services and Wellbeing spoke of the importance of recognising and celebrating diversity at QUT.

‘Inclusivity is a core institutional value and we’re striving to ensure that every member of the University can be their authentic self-whilst striving to achieve their full potential whilst studying or working at QUT,

‘Empowering our students and staff who identify as LGBTQ directly contributes to our strength as a Higher Education institution and it’s essential that we continue to maintain and further develop ourselves in this area.

Pride in Sport

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of students, employees, athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Emily Rosemond, QUT Sport Coordinator spoke of the importance of providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming program for everyone within the QUT Community.

‘Sport and recreation activities are an integral component of the student experience and it’s important that we are committed to providing an inclusive environment in all of our programs and activities.

‘We’re really looking forward to working with the team at Pride in Sport to achieve better health outcomes underpinned by best practice as benchmarked by the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Pride in Sport Index.

Alarmingly, data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance showed that young people aged 16, to 17 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly eleven times more likely. A contributing factor is 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, with 75% believing that an openly gay person would not be safe as a spectator at a sporting event according to date from Out on the Fields.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTQ people has never been more important.

“By joining Pride in Sport and working with ACON, QUT Sport is showing the community that they care about the health and wellbeing of their athletes, members, and wider university community” Newell said.

“Congratulations to QUT Sport for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector and QUT Sport are proud to take steps for better LGBTQ inclusion in sport.

Pride in Diversity

Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTQ workplace inclusion specialising in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity. With the assistance of the program, QUT is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people by reducing exclusion, invisibility, homophobia and stigma in the workplace.

Jasmine Linton – Chair QUT LGBTIQA+ Working Party said QUT’s overarching membership to Pride in Diversity has been a positive step towards creating a more inclusive workplace and learning environment for LGBTIQA+ people within our University.  

‘Over the past three years QUT’s LGBTIQA+ Working Party has implemented several activities and strategies towards achieving better inclusion and equality for students and staff of diverse genders, sexualities, and sex characteristics, but we acknowledge there is always more work to do.

Since developing our LGBTIQA+ Action Plan, QUT has:

  • Ensured there are LGBTIQA+ voices providing direction at a University-wide level in issues that affect the community, and supported the University to make statements of support for community issues,
  • started a new LGBTIQA+ staff network – QPSN,
  • increased and enhanced our ALLY training program,
  • led a united SEQ university presence at Brisbane PRIDE via University Unity,
  • run a suite of campaigns and events recognising days of significance for LGBTIQA+ community
  • built all-gender facilities on campus
  • run forums dedicated to sharing research in the fields of diverse genders, sexualities, and sex characteristics.

We are currently undertaking:

  • a review of gender affirmation processes at QUT with view to improving systems,
  • work to begin improving the inclusion of LGBTIQA+ representation and perspectives in learning and teaching,
  • development of safe spaces on campus.

 

 

 

For more information please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications

E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

 

Paralympics Australia teams up with Pride in Sport to increase LGBTQ inclusion

Paralympics Australia, the peak body for Para-sport in Australia, has become the newest member of the Australian Pride in Sport program, committing to further develop and enhance LGBTQ inclusion.

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of employees, athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Being a Pride in Sport member means changing practices and working towards a more inclusive, safe and healthy sporting environment for people with diverse sexualities and genders.

Jock O’Callaghan, President of Paralympics Australia, is excited about the opportunity that Pride in Sport will play when helping promote positive messages and examples around LGBTQ inclusion for Australia’s Paralympians, Para-athletes and Para-sports.

“At Paralympics Australia, we strongly believe in equality of opportunity for all, not just for some.

“The Paralympic movement has always promoted inclusion by challenging attitudes and breaking down barriers.

“For this reason, I believe Paralympics Australia will bring great value to our new partnership with Pride in Sport and our shared pursuit for greater inclusivity not just in sport, but in society generally.”

Data from the Out on the Fields study showed that 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, with 75% believing that an openly gay person would not be safe as a spectator at a sporting event. Even more alarming is the data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance showing that LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly eleven times more likely.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTQ people has never been more important.

“By joining Pride in Sport and working with ACON, Paralympics Australia is showing the community that they care about the health and wellbeing of their athletes, members, and Para-sports across the country,” Newell said.

“Congratulations to Paralympics Australia for helping to lead the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector.

 

 

For more information please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

 

Judo NSW partner with Pride in Sport to improve LGBTQ inclusion and mental health

Judo NSW, the state governing body of judo in New South Wales, and Pride in Sport, have been the successful recipients of an NSW Mental Health Sports Fund grant, committing to further develop and enhance the inclusion of LGBTQ participation across judo in regional and rural NSW.

Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor urged NSW-based sporting bodies wanting to improve mental health and wellbeing in regional drought-stricken areas to apply for a share of a new $1.2 million Mental Health Sports Fund.

“Sporting clubs are the heart of our rural communities and this fund will assist NSW sporting bodies to work with local clubs to deliver mental health and wellbeing initiatives which suit the needs of local people,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Collectively, sporting clubs have thousands of members across regional NSW and are a great vehicle to promote mental health and wellbeing,” Mrs Taylor said.

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion and improved mental health and wellbeing of employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

The strategic partnership between Judo NSW and Pride in Sport will allow the sport of judo to change practices and work towards a more inclusive, safe and healthy sporting environment for people with diverse sexualities and genders across regional and rural NSW.

Phil McDermott, CEO of Judo NSW, is excited about the opportunity that Pride in Sport Australia will play when helping promote positive messages and examples around LGBTQ metal health, wellbeing and inclusion.

“Judo NSW is pleased to have partnered with Pride in Sport. We aim to make judo across NSW become completely inclusive so that everyone feels welcome”, McDermott said.

While many LGBTQ+ people live happy, healthy and productive lives, there are a range of preventable mental health issues which affect a disproportionate number of people in the LGBTQ community compared to the general population.

LGBTQ people are twice as likely to experience anxiety disorders, three times as likely to experience affective disorders such as depression and social phobias, five times more likely to experience major depressive episodes, and up to fourteen times more likely to attempt suicide.

The project provides a new platform for mental health and inclusion initiatives for judo clubs in regional and rural areas of the state. While the challenge offers a degree of difficulty rarely confronted in regional areas, Pride in Sport will lead the delivery of dedicated LGBTQ inclusion and mental health awareness training, club resource development and a digital campaign as we approach upcoming judo seasons.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTQ people has never been more important.

“By partnering with Pride in Sport and working with ACON, Judo NSW is showing the community that they care about the mental health and wellbeing of their athletes, members, and clubs across the entire state” Newell said.

“Congratulations to Judo NSW for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector.

 

For media enquiries please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

NBL teams up with Pride in Sport

The Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League (NBL), has become the newest member of the Australian Pride in Sport program, committing to further develop and enhance the inclusion of LGBTQ+ participation on the basketball court.

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of employees, athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Being a Pride in Sport member means working towards a more inclusive, safe and healthy sporting environment.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said. “The NBL is pleased to partner with Pride in Sport. Basketball prides itself on being a sport that is open and accessible to everyone in the community and the NBL is firmly committed to the values of inclusion and diversity.”

Data from the Out on the Fields study showed that 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, with 75% believing that an openly gay person would not be safe as a spectator at a sporting event. Even more alarming is the data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance showing that LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly eleven times more likely.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTQ people has never been more important.

“By joining Pride in Sport and working with ACON, the NBL is showing the community that they care about the health and wellbeing of their athletes, members, and clubs across the country” Newell said.

“Congratulations to NBL for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector.

 

 

For media inquiries please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

National Sports Convention Pivots to Offer Multiple NSC Forums for 2020

Australia’s leading National Sports Convention (NSC), postponed from July this year has embraced the COVID-19 challenge and pivoted, now offering three single day NSC Forums 2020 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on the 9th, 11th and 13th November consecutively.

As the sport, government, recreation and play sectors start to focus forward, the NSC Forums bring together global and national leaders along with specialists in each state to share insights and opportunities to recalibrate and prepare ready for 2021’s strategic planning process.

With the continued support of Sport Australia, Sport New Zealand, State Governments of NSW, Victoria and Queensland together with each State Sports Federation an inspiring agenda has been developed.

The NSC Forums have been created to provide insights and opportunities ready for the business planning of 2021 focusing on how to reconnect physical activity, play, recreation and community sport. With significant emphasis on participant interaction, the NSC Forums are structured to encourage greater opportunity for discussions and questions. The initial Keynote Session thoroughly sets the scene:

 

Keynote Session 1: Active Communities and Community Sport – post COVID-19

Exploring what active communities and community sport look like post COVID-19 for delivering physical activity, play, recreation and sport. Ministers for Sport from all three States have been invited to participate and provide insights into their future commitment to sport and recreation to open each NSC Forum.

 

Peter Miskimmin, Chief Executive Officer, Sport New Zealand

 

The New World: A Generational Opportunity to Recalibrate Community Sport

 

Rob Dalton, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Sport Australia

 

Sustainability for Community Sport: The Big Picture Priorities and How Sport Australia can Support the Sector

Keynote Panel In each State, the panel members will include the CEO’s from the State Government Departments of Sport and Recreation, the CEO’s of the State Sports Federation and a CEO from Local Government to discuss the opening presentations, what is means for each State and the impact on planning for 2021 onwards.

View Program

Each NSC Forum has limited tickets to attend in person, with options also available to participate virtually will be integrated into each Forum.

With online e-delegate tickets from only $99 +GST, it is expected that demand will be high.  Registrations open Thursday 23rd July.

Program details are available at www.nscforums.com.au

 

Editors Notes

The National Sports Convention (NSC) has grown since 2016 as Australia/New Zealand’s largest and most prominent community sport and recreation convention and expo attracting over 1,500 people annually.

Due to COVID-19 challenges the organisers have worked with its 40+ collaborators to pivot its offering for 2020 to take the NSC to key states and structure the event for online access in a Forum format.

The full NSC Forum Program can be found at www.nscforums.com.au

Follow the National Sports Convention on Facebook and LinkedIn

#NSCForum

Further information contact Martin Sheppard, Co-Founder and NSC Forum Convener at martins@smartconnection.net.au or 0404 022 355.

 

Event Details

  • NSC Forum – Sydney – Monday 9th November – Rosehill Gardens, Parramatta
  • NSC Forum – Melbourne – Wednesday 11th November – Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • NSC Forum – Brisbane – Friday 13th November – Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

Non-Binary ≠ Non Participation

Join Pride in Sport National Program Manager, Beau Newell, for this special event as a part of International Non-Binary Peoples Day.

About this Event

Sport has an historic alignment to the gender binary (male and female), however this doesn’t mean those who identify as Non-Binary should be excluded from participating in sport and recreation.

Join Pride in Sport National Program Manager, Beau Newell, for this special event as a part of International Non-Binary Peoples Day on Tuesday 14 July 2020. We will explore current restrictions faced by non-binary people, and initiatives and case studies that sports can adopt to make their activities and competitions more inclusive for all people.

We will also be joined by a special guest panel:

  • Cr Jane Russo, Transcend Australia’s SA Representative and Chair of Athletics SA
  • Aaron Lucas, 2019 Australian LGBTQ Inclusive Coach of the Year
  • Ro Allen, Victorian Gender & Sexuality Commissioner
  • Merrilee Barnes, Director of Inclusive Sport – Sport Australia

Click Here to register now, and attend this event live!

 

Ask a question

UniSport Australia Joins Pride in Sport

UniSport Australia, the peak governing body of university sport in Australia, has become the newest member of the Australian Pride in Sport program, committing to further develop and enhance the inclusion of LGBTQ+ participation across the university sport scene.

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Being a Pride in Sport member means changing practices and working towards a more inclusive, safe and healthy sporting environment for people with diverse sexualities and genders.

Mark Sinderberry, CEO of UniSport Australia, is excited about the opportunity that Pride in Sport Australia will play when helping promote positive messages and examples around LGBTQ inclusion.

“UniSport Australia is pleased to become a member of Pride in Sport. We look forward to improving our programs, events and opportunities to ensure they are more inclusive and accessible for all”, Sinderberry said.

Data from the Out on the Fields study showed that 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, with 75% believing that an openly gay person would not be safe as a spectator at a sporting event. Even more alarming is the data from the National LGBTI Health Alliance showing that LGBTI young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly eleven times more likely.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTI people has never been more important.

“By joining Pride in Sport and working with ACON, UniSport Australia is showing the community that they care about the health and wellbeing of their athletes, members, and University Sporting organisations across the country” Newell said.

“Congratulations to UniSport Australia for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector.

 

 

 

ABOUT PRIDE IN SPORT

Pride in Sport is a national not-for-profit program that assists sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTI employees, players, volunteers and spectators. It is part of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, which provides a range of services to employers, sporting organisations and service providers with support in all aspects of LGBTI inclusion. All funds generated through membership and ticketed events go back into the work of Pride in Sport, actively working alongside sporting organisations, clubs and participants to make Australian sport inclusive of LGBTI communities. For more information, visit the Pride Inclusion Programs website here.

 

ABOUT THE PRIDE IN SPORT INDEX

The Pride in Sport Index (PSI) is an independently administered benchmarking system that provides the opportunity for all national and state sporting organisations to have their LGBTI related initiatives, programs and policies reviewed, measured and monitored. An initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Sports Commission and a legacy of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 (the world cup of gay rugby), it was developed alongside an advisory group that includes representatives from the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), Football Federation Australia (FFA), Cricket Australia, Swimming Australia, Water Polo Australia, Basketball Australia and Golf Australia. For more information, visit the Pride in Sport website here.

 

For media enquiries please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

Diving NSW and Pride in Sport Australia address LGBTQ inclusion and mental health

Diving NSW, the state governing body of diving in New South Wales, and Pride in Sport, have been the successful recipients of an NSW Mental Health Sports Fund grant, committing to further develop and enhance the inclusion of LGBTQ+ participation across diving in regional and rural NSW.

Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor urged NSW-based sporting bodies wanting to improve mental health and wellbeing in regional drought-stricken areas to apply for a share of a new $1.2 million Mental Health Sports Fund.

“Sporting clubs are the heart of our rural communities and this fund will assist NSW sporting bodies to work with local clubs to deliver mental health and wellbeing initiatives which suit the needs of local people,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Collectively, sporting clubs have thousands of members across regional NSW and are a great vehicle to promote mental health and wellbeing,” Mrs Taylor said.

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is the only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion and improved mental health and wellbeing of employees, players, coaches, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

The strategic partnership between Diving NSW and Pride in Sport will allow the sport of diving to change practices and work towards a more inclusive, safe and healthy sporting environment for people with diverse sexualities and genders across regional and rural NSW.

Gillian Brooker, CEO of Diving NSW, is excited about the opportunity that Pride in Sport Australia will play when helping promote positive messages and examples around LGBTQ metal health, wellbeing and inclusion.

“Diving NSW is pleased to have partnered with Pride in Sport. We aim to make diving across NSW become completely inclusive so that everyone feels welcome”, Brooker said.

While many LGBTQ+ people live happy, healthy and productive lives, there are a range of preventable mental health issues which affect a disproportionate number of people in the LGBTQ+ community compared to the general population.

LGBTQ+ people are twice as likely to experience anxiety disorders, three times as likely to experience affective disorders such as depression and social phobias, five times more likely to experience major depressive episodes, and up to fourteen times more likely to attempt suicide.

The project provides a new platform for mental health and inclusion initiatives for diving clubs in regional and rural areas of the state. While the challenge offers a degree of difficulty rarely confronted in regional areas, Pride in Sport will lead the delivery of dedicated LGBTQ inclusion and mental health awareness training, club resource development and a digital campaign as we approach upcoming diving seasons.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTQ+ people has never been more important.

“By partnering with Pride in Sport and working with ACON, Diving NSW is showing the community that they care about the mental health and wellbeing of their athletes, members, and clubs across the entire state” Newell said.

“Congratulations to Diving NSW for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector.

 

Visit Diving NSW’s ‘Pride in Diving‘ webpage.

 

 

 

ABOUT PRIDE IN SPORT

Pride in Sport is a national not-for-profit program that assists sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTI employees, players, volunteers and spectators. It is part of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, which provides a range of services to employers, sporting organisations and service providers with support in all aspects of LGBTI inclusion. All funds generated through membership and ticketed events go back into the work of Pride in Sport, actively working alongside sporting organisations, clubs and participants to make Australian sport inclusive of LGBTI communities. For more information, visit the Pride Inclusion Programs website here.

 

ABOUT THE PRIDE IN SPORT INDEX

The Pride in Sport Index (PSI) is an independently administered benchmarking system that provides the opportunity for all national and state sporting organisations to have their LGBTI related initiatives, programs and policies reviewed, measured and monitored. An initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Sports Commission and a legacy of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 (the world cup of gay rugby), it was developed alongside an advisory group that includes representatives from the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), Football Federation Australia (FFA), Cricket Australia, Swimming Australia, Water Polo Australia, Basketball Australia and Golf Australia. For more information, visit the Pride in Sport website here.

 

 

For more information please contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
E: dalexander@acon.org.au   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042

Call to action: Why LGBTQ inclusion must be amplified in Australian sport, during and post-COVID19.

By Beau Newell

 

Australia is often the home ground for varying levels of disasters, and 2019/2020 was no exception.

To begin a new decade, we were hit with a constant onslaught of events, including extreme drought which led to bushfires (that produced smoke which was seen across the globe), destroyed 8,000+ homes and buildings, and saw more than one billion animals killed. This was shortly followed by floods that came with the heaviest rainfall in 30+ years, devastating communities for the second time in two months. And if natural disasters weren’t enough, a global health emergency (COVID-19 pandemic) was thrown in for good measure just to keep us on our toes.

What’s more is that the culmination of these events has caused mass devastation to sporting codes across Australia. From game cancellations, to thousands of staff losing their jobs (whether temporarily or indefinitely). The heartache has been felt at all levels of sport, from grass roots all the way to international events.

So, why on earth would a sporting organisation look to invest time and money on diversity and inclusion (D&I) work?

OK, lets break it down for you…

What we know from those within sport:

  • In early 2020, over 600 individuals from across various Australian sporting codes participated in the Pride in Sport Index (PSI) survey. Of those surveyed, 57.5% of people believed that their sport should put more effort into the LGBTQ+ aspect of diversity and inclusion work. This is reinforced by 85.6% of respondents confirming it is important that sporting employers be active in this area of diversity & inclusion. [i]
  • At least 59.5% of people believe a sporting organisations positive track record on LGBTQ+ inclusion would influence them to join that sport, heightening the importance of actively and visibly working in this space.
  • Further, just 28% of respondents strongly agreed that their organisation had a focus on diversity and inclusion work for people with diverse genders and sexualities, despite 33.5% of respondents saying they have witnessed forms of negative behaviour / mild harassment targeting people with diverse sexualities and genders within their own sporting organisation.

Mental Health & Wellbeing.

  • Recently, the Prime Minister of Australia highlighted the dire news that support centres such as Beyond Blue, Lifeline and Kids Helpline received between 25-56% increases, respectively, in call for help during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to the same time last year.
  • Furthermore, those individuals who live between the margins or the minorities of Australian society are more vulnerable and susceptible to the mental health impacts of COVID-19, with 54% of LGBTQ+ people having experienced more mental health issues during COVID-19 compared to 44% of the rest of the population. While being LBGTQ doesn’t increase the likelihood of getting COVID-19, being a minority population means the impact is more heavily felt.

Even prior to COVID-19, we knew that:

  • Young lesbian, gay and bisexual people are 5 times more likely, and Trans & Gender Diverse people are nearly 11 times more likely to attempt suicide in their lifetime.[ii]
  • LGBTQ+ people are up to six times more likely to experience or be diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression.ii

Existing research.

Further to this, is the existing data that already points out the homophobic, biphobia, and transphobic culture that sport more broadly has within Australia such as studies including Game to Play?, Out on the Fields, Equal Play, and Inclusive Sport Practices.

The threat is real.

Adding to all of this is the potential threat of sporting organisations decreasing or obliterating their diversity and inclusion (D&I) budget and/or workforce all together. Irrespective of the reasoning (e.g. budget cuts, reduced income etc.), not having LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion as part of Australian sports strategic plans could be Australia’s fifth major disaster of 2020.

I don’t say that lightly.

People with diverse genders and sexualities already have an uphill battle to feel included, safe and welcome in sport. Dropping the ball on LGBTQ+ inclusion work will have a negative impact on sports across the country (not just the individual).

We need to broaden the definition of D&I work to capture the new challenges of working during a pandemic. This should see an approach that focuses on solving real problems and not maintaining appearances.

The benefit is achievable

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though. Sporting organisations could benefit from a positive impact if it were to boost this line of work. Participation rates, increased memberships, higher spectator attendance, and even winning the war on candidate recruitment for working or volunteer roles. These are just some of the things a sporting organisation can benefit from.

There has never been a more critical time to demonstrate how well sport can play a role in an individual’s positive health and wellbeing. The beauty is, we don’t need to wait until sport resumes to show how beneficial and inclusive it can be. So, there is no excuse.

D&I work is essential work. Nothing less.

Now is not the time to slow, or stop, D&I work. Today, right now, is the opportune time to embed LGBTQ+ inclusion into your strategic plans. Begin work on governance improvements, participate in online learning activities, and ensure D&I work is solidified as “the norm”.

LGBTQ+ inclusion is essential and critical work that all sporting organisations must be doing, because we are all diverse by default. By not focusing on and/or boosting D&I work, sporting organisations are saying that their members, volunteers, supporters and indeed its workforce are not essential.

Until we can remove all the barriers and disparities faced by diverse populations, we need diversity and inclusion to advocate for change. Sporting organisations must play a vital role in this, or risk losing out.

 

 

Learn more about LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport and what you can do, contact Pride in Sport Australia – info@prideinsport.com.au

 

 

 

[i] PSI2020. Pride in Sport, ACON, www.prideinsport.com.au

[ii] LGBTI Health Alliance, Statistics, https://lgbtihealth.org.au/statistics/

Must Watch LGBTQ Sport Films

There’s no shortage of movies to watch on any given day, however there are some that we absolutely have to suggest you watch to help celebrate IDAHOBIT, this Sunday 17 May 2020.

In the spirit of the IDAHOBIT being on the 17th of May, we explore 17 LGBTQ and sport related movies that will pull your heart strings, make you yell profanities at the TV screen, and allow you to escape for the shortest of times to remember what it was like to play sport, pre COVID-19.

So grab some popcorn, a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy!

 

1. Personal Best

Personal Best is a 1982 American drama film written, produced, and directed by Robert Towne. The movie stars Mariel Hemingway and real-life track star Patrice Donnelly, along with Scott Glenn as the coach of the track team. Chris Cahill is a young track-and-field athlete who competes unsuccessfully in the 1976 U.S. Olympic trials. She meets a more experienced competitor, Tory Skinner, and their friendship evolves into a romantic relationship. The two are part of a group of women trying to qualify for the American track-and-field team bound for the 1980 Olympic Games. Despite their commitment to their training regimen, their dreams are thwarted when the United States announces its boycott of the Games for political reasons, leaving them with only the informal “personal best” marks they achieved during training to connote their achievements.

 

2. Handsome Devil

Handsome Devil is a 2016 Irish comedy-drama film directed by John Butler. It was screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. It centres around an ostracised teenager (Fionn O’Shea) at an elite, rugby-obsessed, all-boys boarding school in Ireland modelled on Castleknock and Blackrock, whose new roommate (Nicholas Galitzine) is the school’s new rugby star-player. The two form an unlikely friendship until it is tested by those around them. The film features themes of gay subtext, while examining the hypocrisy and snobbery of the Irish private school system. Handsome Devil received critical acclaim, winning the award for Best Irish Feature of 2017 from the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle; four nominations at the 2018 Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) Awards, including Best Feature Film; and the Best Single Drama Award at the annual Celtic Media Festival in 2018.

 

3. F(l)ag Football

F(l)ag Football is a 2015 American documentary film on the National Gay Flag Football League directed by Seth Greenleaf. It documents the training of players on the NGFFL’s New York Warriors team as they prepare for the Gay Bowl. The documentary explores masculinity in sports. The documentary stars, Wade Davis, team captain of the New York Warriors, Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of the NGFFL, Brenton Metzler, and Jared Garduno.

 

4. Alone in the Game

From Creator and Executive Producer, David McFarland comes ‘Alone In The Game‘ a feature-length documentary that follows a group of elite athletes and iconic figures from the biggest stages in sport, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and NCAA, among others, to explore the ongoing struggles LGBT athletes are facing at the professional, collegiate and Olympic levels. An exploration of the big business of sports exposes a culture of exclusion, bigotry and discrimination which keeps these athletes in the closet and living in silence. Subjects include three closeted athletes who share their personal journeys, as well as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, former ESPN President John Skipper, NBA center Jason Collins, NFL linemen Ryan O’Callaghan, MLS Cup champion Robbie Rogers, and Olympic medalists Gus Kenworthy and Megan Rapinoe.

 

5. Guys and Balls

Guys and Balls (German: Männer wie wir, literally Men like us, UK title: Balls) is a 2004 sports comedy/romance film by German American director Sherry Hormann about a gay goalkeeper who assembles a gay-only soccer team to play against his ex-team, which fired him due to being gay. A battle for gay rights is fought on a small-time football field in this comedy drama from Germany. Ecki (Maximilian Brückner) is a talented soccer goalie who plays with a semi-pro team in a small German town, but he finds himself on the outs with his teammates when he fails to block a kick that costs the team the league championship. Ecki’s relationship with the team goes from bad to worse when they discover he’s gay, and they give him his walking papers. Furious, Ecki challenges his former team to a special match in which they’ll face off against an all-gay team he’ll assemble for the occasion. The homophobic team agrees to the match, but Ecki soon discovers finding ten capable gay footballers is no easy task, and making them into a competitive team is even harder.

 

6. OUT in the line-up

OUT in the line-up follows the story of two gay surfers who unite to bring this issue out into the open. Together they embark on a global journey to hear the perspectives of people from all corners of the surfing community including former world champion Cori Schumacher, big wave rider Keala Kennelly and former US Congressman Barney Frank. As their journey unfolds, they uncover a culture of fear, secrecy and exclusion but are also inspired to affect change by connecting people, provoking discussion and looking to surfing’s grassroots values of freedom of spirit and love for the ocean.

 

7. Beautiful Boxer

Beautiful Boxer (Thai: บิวตี้ฟูล บ๊อกเซอร์) is a Thai biographical sports film by Singapore-based director Ekachai Uekrongtham. It tells the life story of Parinya Charoenphol, a famous kathoey (trans woman), Muay Thai fighter, actress and model. Starting off as a young priest at a Buddhist temple, Toom eventually joined a Muay Thai fighting camp and earned enough money to support her family and get gender confirmation surgery before she jump-kicked her way into the Asian international spotlight. She was portrayed by male kickboxer Asanee Suwan.

 

8. The Broken Hearts Club

The Broken Hearts Club is a 2000 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Berlanti. It follows the lives of a group of gay friends in West Hollywood, centered on a restaurant owned by the fatherly Jack (John Mahoney) and the softball team he sponsors. The friends rely on each other for friendship and support as they search for love, deal with loss, and discover themselves. The Broken Hearts Club was Berlanti’s first feature film, based around his circle of friends at the time. The movie was met with generally favorable reviews from critics, receiving praise from the LGBTQ community. The film focuses on “the universal themes of romance, acceptance and family”, as opposed to AIDS, coming out, and sex, which are more controversial and stereotypical topics commonly covered in LGBT films of this time.

 

9. Morgan

Morgan is a 2012 film directed by Michael Akers, produced by Michael D. A young, paralyzed, gay athlete attempts to live his life in a situation far from desirable. After an accident leaves him paralyzed from the waist down, Morgan Oliver (played by Leo Minaya), is first seen wallowing in a state of depression, drowning his sorrows in beer as he watches bicycle racing (the sport that at once defined his sense of purpose and drove him to his catalytic accident) on television. He meets Dean Kagan (played by Jack Kesy) who helps him through the way and a romantic relationship develops between the two. Once Morgan knows about the New York Haven Cycle Race, he decides to take part in the race with the help of Kagan and sponsorship from Tread Bike Shop.

 

10. Breakfast with Scot

Breakfast with Scot is a 2007 Canadian comedy film. It is adapted from the novel by Tufts University professor Michael Downing. Eric McNally (Tom Cavanagh) is a gay retired hockey player turned television sportscaster who lives with his partner Sam (Ben Shenkman), a sports lawyer. When Sam unexpectedly becomes the legal guardian of his brother’s stepson, Scot (Noah Bernett), their lives are turned upside down as the demands of being a parent — as well as the boy’s preference for clothing and hobbies which suggest that he may also be gay — begin to intrude on Eric’s desire to remain closeted at work. Eric’s unwillingness to accept the situation eventually fades as Scot teaches Eric about loving your true self.

 

11. The Pass

The Pass is a 2016 film starring Russell Tovey and Arinze Kene. It was directed by Ben A. Williams, based on a play by John Donnelly. Nineteen-year-olds Jason and Ade have been in the Academy of a famous London football club since they were eight years old. It’s the night before their first-ever game for the first team — a Champions League match — and they’re in a hotel room in Romania. They should be sleeping, but they’re over-excited. They skip, fight, mock each other, prepare their kit, watch a teammate’s sex tape. And then, out of nowhere, one of them kisses the other. The impact of this ‘pass’ reverberates through the next ten years of their lives — a decade of fame and failure, secrets and lies, in a sporting world where image is everything. The film was nominated at the 2017 BAFTA Awards, in the category of Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for John Donnelly (writing) and Ben Williams (direction).

 

12. Shelter

Shelter is a 2007 American romantic drama film produced by JD Disalvatore and directed and written by Jonah Markowitz. Love brings together two men who aren’t sure where to fit a relationship into their lives in this romantic drama. Living in the oceanfront working-class community of San Pedro, Zach (Trevor Wright) is a young man in his early twenties who has been forced into the role of emotional anchor for his dysfunctional family; his mother his dead, his father is too ill to work, his sister Jeannie (Tina Holmes) is too busy partying to look after her five-year-old son Cody (Jackson Wurth), and Zach is the only one with the wherewithal to hold down a job and keep the rent paid. While hanging out with his surfing buddy Gabe (Ross Thomas), Zach meets Gabe’s brother, the struggling gay writer Shaun (Brad Rowe), who has taken a break from Tinseltown while rebounding from a dysfunctional relationship. Shaun goes surfing with Zach one day, and the two discover they’re powerfully attracted to one another, and a flirtation turns into a love affair. As Shaun has to explain to his girlfriend why he no longer wants to be with her, Zach tries to make Jeannie and his father understand why he’s come out of the closet.

 

13. Game Face

Game Face shows the quest to self-realization of LGBTQ athletes and the acceptance in society. This documentary tells the parallel story of Fallon Fox, MMA’s first transgender pro fighter, and Terrence Clemens, a college basketball player in Oklahoma who happens to be gay. The film follows both athletes during their coming out process, and sheds light on the obstacles LGBTQ sports players deal with throughout their career. Former NBA star Jason Collins shines as a mentor for Terrence in this inspiring documentary.

 

14. Forbidden Games

Justin Fashanu rose to fame in 1980 after scoring the goal of the season against Liverpool, leading a generation of black footballers through the English league. Abandoned as a child and raised by a white foster family in the UK, he faced plenty of uphill battles. But despite bigotry and bullying from unruly football fans during the Thatcher era, Fashanu blazed his own trail by also becoming the first openly gay athlete on the pitch. He had the talent, swagger and charisma to become one of the most celebrated athletes Britain had ever seen. Through unprecedented access to coaches, teammates and family, filmmakers Adam Darke and Jon Carey unpack one of the most fascinating and ultimately tragic sports stories you’ll ever see. Forbidden Games not only explores Fashanu’s battle with issues of race and sexuality in professional sports, but also the understanding that not everyone is ready for the spotlight.

 

15. Man Made

Man Made takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. Four trans men (who like the film’s director were born and raised female), take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world (held in Atlanta, GA). Man Made is a character-driven, intimate, and riveting verité-style competition film, but also a unique social justice narrative. It speaks to the ways in which we all choose to define and reshape ourselves, both figuratively and literally. The strength on display in Man Made transcends the physical: Rese is a young father struggling with periods of homelessness; Dominic seeks out his family of origin, confronting an alternate history for himself; Kennie admits to himself and his loved ones who he is for the first time in his life; and Mason, a loving husband who struggles with mental illness, works daily to be the man he’s always wanted to be-on both the inside and out. Follow these subjects’ emotional and physical journeys as they navigate lives as the men they are, despite very real risks inherent in the current social and political climate. For the men of Man Made, it’s not about winning-it’s about being seen.

 

16. Back on Board: Greg Louganis

An intimate portrait of an American legend, Back on Board: Greg Louganis, is a feature-length documentary that tells the life story of this four-time Olympic Champion as he returns to diving after a long period of absence. Back on Board explores the captivating, compelling, and complicated life of an Olympic star whose athletic talent sparked a worldwide fascination with diving. Part biography, part social exploration – this film reveals Louganis’ evolution from childhood diving prodigy to Olympic champion, and from pioneering openly gay athlete with HIV to a sometimes forgotten sports icon. Back on Board is an engrossing story about an American legend.

 

17. The Ice King

The Ice King is the searing documentary of a lost cultural icon, a story of art, sport, sexuality, and rebellion. Including incredible unseen footage of some of his most remarkable performances and with access to Curry’s letters, archive interviews, and interviews with his family, friends and collaborators, this is a portrait of the man who turned ice-skating from a dated sport into an exalted art form. After winning gold at the Winter Olympics for a rebelliously balletic routine, Curry saw the world’s stages sheeted with ice. Audiences and reviewers alike were enthralled by his genius. But Curry’s story is about more than skating. On the night of the final, Curry became the first openly gay Olympian at a time when homosexuality was barely legal. From bullying and prejudice, to relief in the gay underworld, to his untimely death from AIDS, Curry’s story dovetails with the experiences of a generation. Tortured by demons, Curry was forever on the run. Never owning a home, he lived on the favours of those who loved him. The only place he found true freedom was the ice.

 

 

About IDAHOBIT

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. It is also one of the biggest days of significance supported by Australian sporting organisations.