AFL Queensland Partners with Pride Cup Australia to Deliver LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Education Sessions

A round like no other! This weekend community football clubs across Queensland will celebrate the third annual Pride Round.  
The state-wide round aims to celebrate and promote inclusion and diversity, while creating a safe space for all people within the code. 
In what’s become tradition now, players will sport rainbow socks, face paint and colourful hair, with a number of clubs also donning custom pride-themed guernseys. 
In the lead up to main event, AFL Queensland will host information sessions with Pride Cup Australia to educate stakeholders and participants about the significance of Pride Round for the LGBTQIA+ community. 
The Pride Round Education Sessions will be held on Wednesday the 13th July and Thursday the 14th July at 7.30pm. These sessions will be livestreamed across the state and available for anyone in the Aussie Rules community who wants to learn more. 
The sessions will help inform and educate AFL Queensland staff, players, volunteers and umpires on some of the barriers that LGBTQIA+ people face within sports communities. 
Topics that will be covered include the LGBTQIA+ acronym, pronouns, barriers to LGBTQIA+ inclusion in sport, impacts of homophobia and transphobia on mental health, the value of sport for social inclusion, the power of language and how clubs can be more inclusive. 
Understanding the real issues and having easy, practical ways that clubs can help to overcome these barriers provides a strong platform for cultural change within local sporting communities. The Pride Cup presenters always use a story-based style along with research and statistics, to help shape understanding about real life experiences in this space.  
Kara Montoneri, Event and Activation Manager for Pride Cup Australia, said LGBTI+ Inclusion in sport education is a fantastic tool to help clubs and organisations make a clear statement of the kind of culture they want moving forward.
“Pride Cup run sessions are relaxed, evidence and story based to share information in a way that fosters a warm and open environment for sharing and questions,” she said. 
“LGBTI+ Inclusion sessions are not about telling everyone to be ‘PC’! Knowledge is power and is the most important tool for a shift in understanding and inclusion; running these sessions prior to a Pride event is incredibly important for giving the event depth and true meaning.” 
AFL Queensland welcomes all players, officials, volunteers and family members to attend and take part in this important, engaging session. 
In addition to our involvement with Pride Cup Australia, AFL Queensland also welcomes back the Queensland Council for LGBTI. They will attend the event on the day and have information available to support attendees.  
Rebecca Reynolds, CEO of Queensland Council for LGBTI Health, said that they’re thrilled to be back for their second year.  
 “We know that when folk are connected to the everyday activities and events happening in their community – they thrive,” she said.  
“The Pride Round creates champions for change in local communities, working with us to amplify and support the actions and voices of all members of our community.  
“As the folk at the AFL say, AFL is for everyone and we are excited to see those words put into actions that are about keeping all members of our communities connected, supported and safe.” 
Other organisations attending or providing information to attendees at Pride Round, Leyshon Park this Saturday include Brisbane Pride Festival, Open Doors Youth Service, Diverse Voices: QLife, 2Spirits, IndigiLez Leadership and Support Group.  

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