Premiership points are still up for grabs but Glengarry and Traralgon Tyers United will be playing for pride when they meet in the inaugural Gippsland Pride Cup next month.
The AGL Loy Yang North Gippsland Football Netball League round 15 fixture on Sunday, 30 July, will be dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community in a celebration of diversity and a bid to tackle homophobia in sport.
The event is an adaption of the annual Pride Cup that was established in the AFL Yarra Ranges Football Netball League in 2014 and follows in the footsteps of the inaugural AFL Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney football clubs last year.
The idea to host a game in Gippsland was raised by AGL Loy Yang general manager Steve Rieniets late last year and endorsed by Pride Cup founder Jason Ball.
The company’s ties to the North Gippsland Football Netball League made for a good fit and the league board was quick to embrace the initiative.
“The opportunity for our league and our major partner AGL Loy Yang to host the inaugural Gippsland Pride Cup is very special and has been welcomed by our board and member clubs,” NGFNL president David Kyle said.
“We understand that we live in a diverse and vibrant community and that our brand should also stand for equality and inclusiveness.
“As with all our project partners we are hopeful this message resonates not only with the member base of the NGFNL but the wider Gippsland football and netball community.”
The senior football and A grade netball sides will wear specially-designed football jumpers and netball dresses, with lower grade teams sharing in the day with rainbow bibs, socks and armbands.
Both clubs will also participate in education sessions in the lead up to the game, which has been moved to a Sunday to enable the league’s other eight clubs to be involved.
In addition to AGL Loy Yang, Latrobe Regional Hospital and the Gippsland Mental Health Alliance, with the generous support of Gippsland Primary Health Network and the Federal Department of Health, have joined as major partners of the project.
Rieniets said AGL Loy Yang was proud to support the Gippsland Pride Cup as it reflected the messages the company encouraged in its workplace.
“We approached AFL Gippsland and the North Gippsland Football Netball League about the concept of a local pride cup as we know how important it is for leadership in all areas, including business and sport, to openly and proudly promote inclusion and diversity,” Rieniets said.
“I lead Victoria’s largest power station on the premise that everyone is equal and should feel safe, connected and that they belong. The same should be felt throughout our local sporting cubs and the fact that both our NGFNL footballers and netballers are supporting this message is fantastic for our community.
“It’s really exciting for AGL to be part of this collaborative event which supports the LGBTI community and celebrates people feeling comfortable to be their true selves.
“I look forward to watching some great footy and netball on the day.”
A working group has been formed to oversee planning of the project, featuring representatives from the major partners, as well supporting partners Latrobe City, Netball Victoria, Headspace, GippSport, Victoria Police and the Gippsland Rainbow Collective.
AFL Gippsland region general manger Travis Switzer said football and netball was again proving an effective vehicle for promoting social awareness and change in the community.
“AFL Gippsland is proud to play a role in this initiative and we look forward to engaging and working closely with a range of partner organisations to ensure the event is staged respectfully and successfully,” Switzer said.
“Community sport is for everyone and it’s fantastic to see our football and netball clubs and leagues showing leadership in this space.”
An official Gippsland Pride Cup luncheon will take place at Glengarry on game day, with details to be announced soon.
Categorised in: Pride Cup
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