By Ant Wingard @AntWingard
History will be made this weekend on the Gold Coast as the Robina Roos host Surfers Paradise Demons in Queensland’s first ever Pride Cup game.
This Saturday, July 28 at 10am, the Roos and Demons will come together at Robina’s home ground to combat homophobia in sport and establish an inclusive environment for the LGBTIQ+ community in the sporting landscape.
In tune with the Pride Cup initiative, the game will be painted in rainbow colours as both teams do their part to promote diversity and inclusion for LGBTIQ+ people.
AFL Queensland Women’s Competition Manager, Joanna Main, was excited by the game and the role the footballing community has to ensure everyone feels welcome.
“This event signifies a celebration of inclusion, not only in football, but the wider community,” Main told aflq.com.au.
“We aim at establishing a landscape where all people feel welcome and accepted on and off the football field and the Pride Cup is an excellent example of that.
“We’ve seen the success the Pride Cup has garnered in Victoria and at the AFL level and I look forward to seeing similar success at Robina for many years to come.”
Both Robina and Surfers Paradise, who play in the QWFA Division 2 South competition, will don rainbow socks for the game and the Roos will enter the field running through a rainbow-striped banner.
On field, each 50m arc will be painted in the rainbow colours and goal umpires will wave rainbow flags after every score.
Robina women’s team coordinator, Sally Croswell, was honoured the Roos can help facilitate inclusion through the event.
“The aim of the Pride Cup is to celebrate diversity and inclusion, to help sport become more welcoming and inclusive for LGBTI people.”
“Robina is a club that aims to create an atmosphere in which players and their families feel safe, respected and welcome, so the Pride Cup aligns with those values.
“Aussie Rules is such a powerful cultural medium and hopefully the event will educate and give people the courage to call out homophobia when they see and hear it.”
Former Australian ironwoman champion, Hayley Bateup, will present the Pride Cup to the winning team and a Pride Cup medal to the player judged the game’s best.
Following the game, Robina will host a chicken and champagne lunch with tickets costing $5.
AFL Queensland State Football Operations Manager, Barry Gibson and Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) national spokesperson, Shelly Argent, will speak at the lunch.
A Saints playing guernsey from the AFL Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney on June 9 will be auctioned off on the day and a Swans signed Lance Franklin training top will be auctioned online.
The Pride Cup initiative began in 2014 when players from Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction united to play in the first ever Pride Cup after Yarra Glen player Jason Ball came out as the first openly gay Australian Rules footballer.
Since then, the Pride Cup has grown into a national not-for-profit organisation to promote diversity and inclusion for everyone.
The first bounce of the game will be at 10aam.
To secure your ticket to the chicken and champagne lunch, you can purchase them here.
To keep up to date with the event, click here.