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Cricket Victoria paving the way in sport for LGBTI+ inclusion

April 11, 2018
Category: Game Development,
Cricket Victoria paving the way in sport for LGBTI+ inclusion

Over the past 12 months, Cricket Victoria has been working in partnership with Proud2Play to develop and further establish inclusive practices and programs within cricket and the wider community.

To support this work, research was undertaken by Victoria University that explored LGBT inclusion in Australian Cricket, the findings demonstrating that the cricket community understood there is a problem surrounding LGBT inclusion within Australian cricket, however is willing to address the issues and take proactive steps towards greater LGBT inclusion.

The research also indicated low levels of knowledge, awareness and education around LGBT inclusion within the cricket community and leadership, along with a general lack of dialogue and conversations around sexuality and gender.

Following the outcomes of the research, Cricket Victoria and Proud2Play developed the Proud Cricket program following funding from VicHealth as part of its Innovation Challenge: Sport.

Proud Cricket is designed to address the key issues uncovered by the research, thereby improving equity, diversity and inclusiveness by supporting clubs with education to create more inclusive club practices and improve club culture.

The idea of the program is to provide education and embed an improved participation pathway for LGBTI+ people with an overall aim to increase participation within this community. Proud Cricket provides these opportunities for cricket clubs and participants through a 4 week introductory program.

Cricket Victoria’s General Manager of Game & Market Development, Rohan O’Neill acknowledges the importance of creating connected communities across all facets of the sport and the importance of the Proud Cricket program.

“Cricket Victoria is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all communities. It’s embedded within our Harmony in Cricket philosophy that cricket is a game for everyone ,” Rohan said.

“We want to ensure that we create opportunities for greater participation and involvement of the LGBTI+ community and Proud Cricket is one of these new opportunities.”

In addition to the Proud Cricket program, Cricket Victoria and Proud2Play continue to work on and develop a series of policies to ensure that the LGBTI+ community are recognised within the sporting code which are due to launch in the next month.

Proud Cricket Day 2018 provided both Cricket Victoria and Proud2Play an opportunity to celebrate the achievements that have been made within the LGBTI+ space from a cricket perspective, and further connect with Proud Cricket clubs, supporting organisations, community partners and members of the general public.

The day coincided with the UN’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, further showcasing the importance of inclusion and diversity within sport.

The day was action packed and saw 6 teams play in a round robin social competition. The Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades also hosted a play cricket zone, with giveaways provided to participants. Minster Martin Foley, Jerril Rechter (CEO, VicHealth) both attended the day.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said VicHealth was proud to partner with Cricket Victoria in establishing Proud Cricket.

“Sport is so good for our physical and mental health. When it’s inclusive, safe and fun – sport has the power to change lives,” Ms Rechter said.

“Proud Cricket sends a clear message to LGBTI people that they’re welcome and safe in cricket clubs and communities. That diversity is cause for celebration, not disrespect or exclusion.”

The day was a huge success and we look forward to continuing to work with community partners and groups to further promote inclusion within sport.

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