Australia’s first cricket Pride Cup has been honoured for supporting LGBTIQ players and fans.
Though games may be cancelled for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with research showing the importance of inclusion and visibility, sporting clubs around Australia are showing their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Pride Cup Australia last year supported over 150 sporting clubs to host their own Pride Cup matches, from AFL to netball.
Holy Trinity Cricket Club in Melbourne’s inner north held the first ever cricket Pride Cup in November, against Preston Cricket Club and the Darebin Falcons.
The Darebin Falcons brought out of retirement a special ‘all-stars’ side to play, but Preston took out the cup.
The event was marked with rainbow flags, rainbow uniforms, and even rainbow cookies.
As well as the match itself, the Pride Cup was a day of celebration of the LGBTIQ community, with a focus on the importance of breaking down barriers to participation in sport.
Entertainment included local favourite performer Adam Noviello, who sang a moving rendition of Lady Gaga’s classic ‘Born This Way’.
Pride Cup manager Kara Montoneri said the match was “a heartfelt and genuine display of LGBTIQ inclusion that created ripple effects throughout the broader Darebin community”.
Holy Trinity player Carly O’Brien said that organising the Pride Cup had been “the perfect opportunity” to show community support and inclusion.
“We have members of our club who are part of the LGBTIQ community, and their comments were that they felt more welcomed at our club than any other sporting club or group they had ever been associated with,” she said.
“This highlighted to us how many people within the LGBTIQ community probably don’t have that same positive experience.
“We decided that we should demonstrate to the wider community that we are a diverse and inclusive club.”
O’Brien said the event was received positively, and players and supporters “really embraced the spirit of the day”.
Holy Trinity has been recognised with a Best Community Initiative award by Darebin City Council for their Pride Cup event, and has been nominated for Community Cricket Club of the Year by Cricket Victoria for the event and their inclusion policies.
Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie said she wants to see more Pride Cups celebrating diversity in sport.
“Events such as the Pride Cup are a great partnership of local sports clubs and the LGBTIQ community to celebrate inclusion through sport, and we look forward to supporting opportunities for clubs across more sports to host Pride Cup events,” she said.
Sports clubs wanting to hold their own Pride Cups can find more information and register online.