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religion or sexual identity,” says AFL spokesman, James Tokin.
“ We will continue to support impressive efforts such as the
Pride Cup to break down barriers and to combat homophobia
wherever it exists.”
Two country Aussie Rules football teams, traditional rivals
in Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction, will compete in the game’s
first Pride Cup aimed at celebrating diversity and tackling
homophobia in our nation’s favourite sport.
Yarra Glen is the team of openly gay footballer Jason Ball, 26,
who came out publicly two years ago. His “coming out” was met
with strong support from his teammates and challenged the AFL
to address homophobia at all levels of the game.
The AFL is in full support of the Pride Cup and is hosting
a pre-match luncheon to discuss diversity in sport. “The AFL
wants to ensure Australian football at every level provides a safe
and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of their race,
Melbourne’s Ace Girls lesbian tennis team recently contested the
90th annual Easter Lawn Tennis Tournament in Shepparton,
Victoria. For the first time the team fielded entrants in all grade
levels from Open/semi-professional level to A, B, C and D amateur
grades and over 40s veterans events. The team joined more than
a thousand players from all over Australia who visited the central
Victorian town, giving ample support to the local economy.
Shepparton is in an area that has come into focus recently, with
people across Australia becoming concerned about threats to the
ongoing viability of SPC’s orchards and cannery.
The significant grassroots sporting event grows in popularity each
year, with entries closing this year 11 days before the advertised
closing date due to oversubscription. The 29 grass courts had
been meticulously prepared for months, while hungry players
were treated to the locals preparing BBQs and Devonshire teas
throughout the weekend.
The Ace Girls enjoyed considerable success
with numerous semi-finals appearances and
four finals, with honours as follows:
• Runner Up, Women’s Plate singles
• Winner, Women’s Over 40 singles
• Winners, Women’s B grade doubles
• Runners Up, Women’s C grade doubles
The Ace Girls offers weekly tennis training
for intermediate and advanced competitive
players in Melbourne, suitable for pennant
players in grades 2 to 5. Training focuses on fitness, high level skills,
drills and tournament preparation. (www.acegirls.org)
Marriage equality advocates
have congratulated Australian
broadcaster and comedian, Julie
McCrossin, on her marriage
to Melissa Gibson in NYC
and have urged the Australian
Government to recognise
overseas same-sex marriages.
Australian Marriage Equality
national director, Rodney
Croome, said, “Like all other
Australian (same-sex) couples
who marry overseas, Julie and
Melissa’s joy will be tempered by the fact that their solemn vows of
lifelong commitment will count for nothing when they walk back
through Australian customs.”
“I urge the Government to respect the solemn vows of couples like
Julie and Melissa by legally recognising overseas same-sex marriages.”
Despite this, positive change may be on the horizon with Greens’
Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, announcing that she would introduce
legislation to allow the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages.
The National Rugby League,
the Football Federation of
Australia, and Cricket Australia
have committed to eliminating
homophobia in sport by ensuring
that gay, lesbian and bisexual
people are welcome as players,
coaches, administrators and fans.
An Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework will be
implemented by the end of August 2014, just in time for the
2014 Bingham Cup. “It provides a practical guide to eradicating
homophobia, discrimination, harassment and bullying on the basis
of sexuality,” said Human Rights Commissioner, Tim Wilson.
A 30-second community service advertisement developed by
Play By The Rules and featuring Mitchell Johnson (Cricket), Harry
Kewell (Football) and Alessandro Del Piero (Football) will be aired
nationally as part of the anti-homophobia campaign.
“ Very few gay professional sports people feel safe to be open
about their sexuality, and with these initiatives, we hope to see
significant changes to sporting culture,” says President of Bingham
Cup, Andrew Purchas.
AUSSIE CELEBRITY MARRIES
SAME-SEX PARTNER IN NYC
FOOTBALLERS COMMIT TO ENDING
HOMOPHOBIA IN SPORT
COUNTRY FOOTBALL TAKES ON THE HOMOPHOBIA CHALLENGE WITH PRIDE
ACE GIRLS SWING OUT
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