Basketball and Football Pride events kick off the University’s Pride in Sport program this weekend. Funded by the Student Services and Amenities Fee Grant Program, the program aims to promote inclusion and diversity throughout the University sporting community. It was developed after the University was the first tertiary institution to sign on to ACON’s Pride in Sport inclusion program. The program will encourage participation and facilitate greater inclusion of the University’s LGBTIQA+ student cohort and enhance their student experience
The Melbourne University Basketball Club will hold a Pride double-header on Saturday 23 June in the Nona Lee Sports Centre Stadium, with the Black Angels Division 2 Women playing against the Mornington Breakers at 6:20pm, and the Division 1 Men taking on the Bulleen Boomers at 8:20pm. It’s poised to be an enjoyable night for spectators with a half-court shooting competition being held in the break and pizza available for purchase.
The Club has underscored its commitment to Pride in Sport by appointing a diversity and inclusion representative, Liz Martin. Martin said the Club is “excited to celebrate its LGBTIQA+ members, supporters, alumni and peers” and is “proud to promote acceptance and equality in basketball and other health and fitness settings”.
The Melbourne University Women’s Football Club (MUWFC) are again involved in the ‘Gay? That’s OK’ VFLW Pride Cup match taking on the Darebin Falcons in Hamilton on Saturday. The ‘Gay? That’s OK’ movement is spearheaded by former University Blacks football player Charles Beaton, who founded the platform in support of his twin brother Lachlan with the goal of starting an open conversation about inclusion in football.
The Falcons won last year’s thrilling match by a single goal, 5.4 – 34 to 4.4 – 28, but MUWFC will be hoping to score a win this time around in brand new Pride jumpers, donated to the team by CGR Sportswear.
MUWFC treasurer Ash Bye is excited by sport’s power to unite, as she believes that “sport is a fantastic vehicle to bring people together to share the message of pride and inclusion for everyone”.
“We think it's fantastic to be taking this message out to regional areas where members of the LGBTIQA+ community may feel more isolated, or have less support than those in the capital cities. Hamilton put on an incredible display of compassion and acceptance last year when the entire town decked out their shop windows for the pride match and we couldn't be happier to get back there again this year” she said.
MU Sport’s Pride and Diversity Coordinator Hannah Mouncey has praised the parties involved, who have been real leaders in this space, but has also stressed the importance of ongoing education within the clubs and a concerted effort being made to engage with the LGBT community. Mouncey will be lining up for the Falcons this weekend
Other clubs set to announce Pride events include the Athletics, Gridiron, Taekwondo and Soccer Clubs.
MU Sport are also set to host another Pride in Sport Breakfast on 21 September 2018. The University community are invited to attend the event, where MU Sport will be giving students the opportunity to record messages of support, affirming that the Sporting community of the University welcomes and celebrates its diversity.
View more about the Pride in Sport program here.