Perth locals win as Pride in Sport Awards recognise outstanding achievement

The Australian Pride in Sport Awards have announced this year’s recipients in a ceremony held this week at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

Celebrating its fourth year, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards recognise outstanding achievements in LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport. The event has been spearheaded by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program from LGBTQ+ health organisation ACON.

Two Perth locals were named among this year’s winners, with Perth Pythons Hockey Club’s Reid Smith picking up with LGBTQ Out Role Model Award, and Greg Jaekel taking the trophy for LGBTQ Inclusive Coach for his work with Perth Rams and Curtin University Goats.

Other winners include BlocHaus Port Melbourne for Sporting Organisation of the Year and Climbing QTs for Community Sporting Organisation of the Year, while Melbourne University Sport received Achievement Award for Most Improved.

The awards also showcase the results of the Australian Pride in Sport Index, a tool for benchmarking and assessing Australian sporting organisations on their commitment to inclusion.

This year’s PSI marks a milestone with the awarding of Gold status – the highest benchmark level – to five organisations: Cricket Australia, BlocHaus Port Melbourne, Macquarie University Sport, Tennis Australia and RMIT University Sport. Silver recognition was awarded to the Sydney Sixers BBL Cricket Club, Cricket Victoria, Hockey Victoria and Hockey Australia, and Bronze went to National Rugby League, Football Victoria, Athletics Australia and Touch Football Australia.

Co-Founder of the Pride in Sport Index, Andrew Purchas, says Australia’s sporting organisations are demonstrating continued dedication to ensure LGBTQ folks are included, despite a tough year that brought disruption to all our lives.

“As demonstrated by the global-first joint launch of inclusion measures for trans and gender diverse people undertaken last year by major Australian sporting codes, many organisations have heard the growing demand throughout the country to ensure sport is welcoming of everyone,” Purchas said.

“They are taking the positive steps needed to ensure a person’s sexuality and/or gender identity and is not a barrier to being able to participate, spectate or volunteer with sport at any level.”

“I congratulate all the award recipients and nominees, along with many others working towards making Australian sport an inclusive place for everyone. I’m proud of all their efforts and to celebrate those success stories at the Pride in Sport Awards today.”

National Program Manager for Pride in Sport Beau Newell also reflected on how things have changed since the awards began in 2016.

“With a wide and growing range of sporting organisations participating, we are seeing greater and demonstrable commitments to providing safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for sexuality and gender diverse people,” Newell said.

“As society becomes more inclusive, so too must sport. There is more to be done to ensure sport – whether on or off the field – is inclusive of everyone and that every person feels welcome as they are, in the sport they love. Everyone has fundamental right to participate in sport.

“I would like to congratulate all sporting codes, clubs, athletes, administrators, support staff and the many volunteers on the efforts they are making to ensure everyone is welcome and supported in sport.”

OIP Staff

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