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These sports are the most inclusive of LGBTI people in Australia

These sports are the most inclusive of LGBTI people in Australia

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Some of Australia’s biggest sports are the most inclusive when it comes to LGBTI people.

Rugby, cricket and Aussie Rules Football (AFL) were some of the big winners at the Australian Pride in Sport Awards.

Held in the southern city of Melbourne on 19 June, the awards were the first of their kind.

The awards showcased the results of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI). The PSI is a national benchmarking instrument used to measure LGBTI inclusion in Australian sport. ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTI health organisation, spearheaded the index.

‘Many of Australia’s sporting organisations are recognizing positive steps need to be taken to ensure your sexuality, gender identity or intersex status does not impact your ability to play, watch or be involved with sport at any level,’ said ACON Vice-President and Co-Founder of the PSI, Andrew Purchas.

The big winners

The St. Kilda Football Club participates in the annual AFL Pride Game. It took home the award for the Highest Ranking Overall sporting organisation.

Cricket Victoria won the Highest Ranking State Sporting Organisation. The NRL took out the Highest Ranking National Sporting Organisation award. The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation received the Achievement Award for Most Improved.

Alex Blackwell is one of the world’s leading cricketers and a Pride in Sport co-patron. She said the awards and program are helping pave the way for LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport.

‘Sport has had an incredibly positive impact on my life during my 15 year international cricket career. I have experienced all the health and social benefits that come with playing sport at the highest level,’ Blackwell said.

‘Sadly the evidence tells us that sport is not a particularly welcoming place for all Australians, especially young LGBTI people. This is arguably the group that could most benefit from sport.

‘Now armed with this knowledge sporting organisations are joining Pride in Sport so that they can effectively break down the barriers to LGBTI inclusion and attract the largest and most diverse participation, fan and talent base and ensure their sport thrives into the future.’

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