Hockey ACT, Touch Football Australia, Netball Victoria, Tennis Australia, and Macquarie University Sport are among various sporting organisations. Individuals named the country’s best for LGBTQ inclusion at the Australian Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne.

Launched in 2018, the Australian Pride in Sport Awards is the first celebration dedicated solely to celebrating and acknowledging exceptional efforts in making Australian sports more inclusive of LGBTQ people. It is produced by Pride in Sport, the national not-for-profit sporting inclusion program spearheaded by Australia’s most prominent LGBTQ health organisation, ACON.

Along with sporting clubs and organisations, individuals from the community and allies from a range of codes were awarded for making their respective sports a more welcoming place for LGBTQ people on and off the field. #

The awards showcase the results of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI) – a national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTQ inclusion within Australian sports.

Co-founder of the PSI, Andrew Purchas, said: “Every year, the awards build on progress in achieving LGBTQ rights and ongoing work in making sporting arenas, pitches, and spectator stands more inclusive.

“Over the years since the PSI and Awards were established, Australian sporting codes, organisations and clubs have shown that they’re heeding growing calls and expectations that sport welcomes everyone. They are taking the positive steps needed to ensure a person’s sexuality and gender identity and is not a barrier to being able to participate, spectate or volunteer with sport at any level.

“The growth in participating clubs, organisations and codes is incredibly encouraging as it demonstrates a growing focus on LGBTQ inclusion, zero tolerance of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

“I congratulate all the award recipients, finalists, and 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,” Purchas said.

The awards, hosted by comedian Bobby Macumber, featured The Voice and Australia’s Got Talent music sensation Jael Wena and the much-anticipated award ceremony.

Pride In Sport National Program Manager Beau Newell added: “Since it was established seven years ago, the PSI has continued to see a tangible shift in practice with LGBTQ inclusion work in Australian sport, as well as greater and demonstrable commitments to providing safer and more inclusive environments and experiences for sexuality and gender diverse people.”

“As society becomes more inclusive, there is an expectation that sport also reflects the diversity of our communities. More must 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 a fundamental right to participate in sports.

“Pride in Sport would like to congratulate all sporting codes, clubs, athletes, administrators, support staff and the many volunteers on their efforts to ensure everyone is welcome and supported in sport,” Newell said.