The latest in LGBTIQ sports news

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.





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.



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:   T: (02) 9206 2044   M: 0428 477 042