Proud2Play have announced the launch of an exciting new program for the rainbow community which will see social sport sessions run across five sites in Melbourne.
Funded by a VicHealth Reimagining Health grant, the Proud2Play initiative will provide free and inclusive sporting sessions to marginalised groups in partnership with Football Victoria and Cricket Australia.
Sessions will be completely free and run by community volunteers who have been trained in coaching and LGBTQI+ inclusion in sport. The session locations include the City of Melbourne, Cardinia Shire, Nillumbik Council, City of Monash and Darebin Council.
Football Victoria CEO Kimon Taliadoros spoke about the importance of growing the world game for all communities in Victoria.
“As the governing body for football in Victoria, we acknowledge our responsibility to provide access for every person who wishes to play. The magic of football is occurring in more places, with more people and more often throughout Victoria and Australia,” he said.
Research has shown that 80% of all sports participants in Australia have experienced or witnessed discrimination on the basis of sexuality. Half of all transgender people, a quarter of males and 10% of females are reported to have avoided playing sports they would like to play because of their sexuality or gender identity.
Parklife aims to address these inequities by providing a safe and welcoming environment for community members to be more active, enhance social bonds and strengthen connection to community.
Proud2Play CEO Christine Granger was proud to see the inclusive Parklife initiative announced.
“Sport can be such a powerful tool for inclusion, however, has all too often been an unsafe space for people in our communities. We are excited to be able to offer a space for LGBTIQ+ folks to come together in a social format and enjoy the benefits of participating in sport that so many take for granted,” she said.
“We hope this will help foster a positive relationship with sport for the participants, leading to ongoing involvement into their future.”
Parklife sessions are postponed at the time of publication due to Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions relating to community sport and activities being prohibited. The lockdown measures are to be continued or eased from Tuesday, July 27 at 11:59pm.