Author: Mitch Wynd
Hockey Australia and its Member Associations have signed up to the Pride in Sport Index, making a public commitment to the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) employees, players, volunteers and spectators in hockey. Hockey Australia has also joined Pride in Sport as a Member, said Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier.
“Hockey has long been recognised as an inclusive sport. We are proud to have an even split of male and female participation, and to pay our players the same regardless of sex. We are proud to have players of all ages and abilities in our hockey family.
“We have long considered our sport inclusive of players, volunteers, spectators and employees of all backgrounds, including all sexual orientations and by joining Pride in Sport as a member, we are now making a very public statement about our commitment to that inclusion,” said Favier.
Hockey Australia is joined by Hockey NT, Hockey Queensland, Hockey ACT, Hockey NSW, Hockey Tasmania, Hockey Victoria, Hockey SA and Hockey WA in today’s commitment, showing a united approach to inclusion across Australia.
The step has been welcomed by hockey players from the LGBTI community, with Presidents from LGBTI hockey clubs Perth Pythons and Sydney Bentstix acknowledging the move as important for our sport.
"We are so excited to see our peak body proactively promote diversity and inclusion because fundamentally these are the core values that create stronger, better communities. It means everyone involved in hockey, from players through to spectators, know they can participate as their true authentic selves," said Reid Smith, President of the Perth Pythons.
His club has been recognised for leading the way in sport, taking home the2019 LGBTI Community Sporting Award for community sporting clubs and initiatives that make an “outstanding contribution to the broader role of LGBTI inclusion within Australian Sport” last night.
Smith’s views were supported by Presidents Oliver Barrett and Joanna Lamb from the Bentstix Hockey Club.
"Bentstix Hockey Club, Sydney, wholeheartedly congratulates Hockey Australia for joining Pride in Sport Australia. HA’s support for inclusion in sport is hugely important, not only to us as the world's longest running LGBT+ hockey club but also for every club and player across our country. It sends a strong message that anyone, regardless of sexuality, should feel included in the hockey family."
Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist National and State sporting organisations (NSO/SSO’s) and clubs with the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) employees, players, volunteers and spectators.