By Andrew Jackson
Growthbuilt SUANFC – proudly supporting Headspace Camperdown, is honoured to present the annual Pride Round for Sydney AFL.
The round celebrates the diversity that defines our game and seeks to raise awareness for LGBTIQIA+ issues, including the role we can all play in eliminating homophobia within sport.
President of Sydney University Women’s AFL Club, Olivia Warren, says that the round is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the welcoming and inclusive environment that the club offers all year round.
“The Pride Round is an important celebration of the diversity of not only our club, but also our community,” she declares.
“We pride ourselves in being inclusive and instilling the value of acceptance within our club and this round in particular gives members a sense of empowerment and belonging.”
Warren says that the round is a highlight for the Sydney University Bombers and is met with great enthusiasm by its playing group.
“They are super excited,” she says.
“There are a number of players who belong to the LGBTIQIA+ community who think this is absolutely fabulous and are extremely proud to be a part of it.”
Josh Cutrupi and Chris Browne pioneered last year’s Pride Round, which successfully raised $4000 for Beyond Blue.
Cutrupi, who is a Player Representative at the club, says that the round is a vital opportunity to challenge homophobia in sport.
“It is a great opportunity to try and eliminate homophobia out of the sport and to educate some of the lads on being an ally and using the right terminology,” he says.
“It is still quite prevalent – the language used on the sports field in a derogatory manner, and I think by calling it out we can try help eliminate it in the end.”
This year, profits from Pride Round will be going to Headspace Camperdown, which offers support and information for people 12-25 years old, including LGBTQIA+ youth.
Cutrupi says the round is crucial in recognising the great work that Headspace does in creating a supportive environment for people from the LGBTQIA+ community.
“There is a really high prevalence of mental health issues in the LGBTQIA+ community,” he says.
“And we thought it would be best to give back to the community with much-needed funds which help spread the word on the issue of homophobia in sport.”
More than anything, Cutrupi said the round is important in proving that sport is unique in its ability to bring all people together.
“Trying to create an inclusive and safe environment that anyone feels happy to play in is a really important thing,” he says.
“If more clubs have that attitude it is a really positive thing for the community.”