Griffith Sport launched its Pride in Sport Strategy, which embraces diversity of gender, bodies and sexualities and demonstrates a commitment to create environments that are visibly inclusive and welcoming.
In line with the strategy which includes a new code of behaviour, Griffith Sport staff have undertaken Ally training and Griffith Sport staff will wear Ally badges as part of their uniform.
’Safe Space’ stickers will feature on all Griffith Sport facilities establishing an expectation that there is a clear code of behaviour for everyone who engages and interacts with Griffith Sport events, programs and facilities.
“We are excited to launch the Griffith Sport Pride strategy which will drive our actions and policy into the future,” Sport and Recreation Manager Natalee Black said.
“Griffith Sport should be a safe space for everyone, and we are ensuring the LGBTQIA+ community is at front of mind when we design our spaces and our policies.”
In consultation with Pride in Sport, Griffith University Equity Office and the Griffith Rainbow Society, Griffith Sport has developed a holistic strategy aiming to deliver inclusivity through communications, policies, environment, partnerships and engagement.
“We’re looking forward to our first Pride Week in May which was designed in consultation with the Rainbow Society, and we will also run our first ever Social Sport Pride round,” Ms Black said.
“We are focused on developing partnerships with student and community organisations to enhance participation from LGBTQIA+ communities.
“Griffith Sport has been members of Pride in Sport since 2021 and participate in Pride in Sport Indicators (PSI) Benchmarking which helps us assess our initiatives and ensure our commitment to inclusivity in sport remains on track.”
The Pride in Sport Index is an Australian Sports Commission and Australian Human Rights Commission initiative and assesses the inclusion of people with diverse sexualities and genders within Australian sporting organisations.
Griffith Rainbow Society Sports Ambassador, honours student and trans man, Ruben Thompson played competitive soccer as a trans man in a men’s team for the special Olympics for ten years.
“All people regardless of gender and sexuality deserve the chance to play sport either socially or competitively with their peers and to do this we need to foster an environment where everyone is welcome,” Mr Thompson said.
“Pride in sport helps queer individuals gain equal footing within Griffith Sport so they can have the same opportunities as other participants.”
Griffith Higher Degree Research candidate and Rainbow Society co-leader Cassidy Winter said one of the main barriers to participation by the LGBTQIA+ community is fear of anything from exclusion to outright hostility.
“Sport is a great way to socialise and participate in physical activity, two things that are proven to increase mental wellbeing,” Ms Winter said.
“By enshrining protection from abuse on the basis of gender, sexuality, and intersex status in the Griffith Sports’ code of behaviour and employee training, we are working to mitigate those barriers to participation by the LGBTQIA+ community.
“The code ensures students can participate in teams that best reflect their gender and provides guidelines for referral to the university for disciplinary measures if the code of behaviour is breached.”