Proud2Play launches an exciting new program which will provide social sport sessions for the rainbow community across 5 sites in Melbourne.
PLEASE NOTE: Parklife Sessions are currently suspended in line with all community sport due to COVID-19. Updates will be provided as soon as possible.
This program, funded by a VicHealth Reimagining Health grant and in Partnership with Football Victoria and Cricket Victoria provides free and inclusive sporting sessions for group often left out in sport.
Locations include the City of Melbourne, Cardinia Shire, Nillumbik Council, City of Monash and Darebin Council. Sessions will be completely free for LGBTIQ folks and allies and run for 1 hour on a weekly basis for 6 months.
All sessions are free and run by community volunteers who have been trained in coaching and LGBTIQ inclusion in sport. These sessions will be followed by a Round Robin Tournament in December at the Knox Regional Football Centre.
“As the governing body for football in Victoria, we acknowledge our responsibility to provide access for every person who wishes to play. The magic of football is occurring in more places, with more people and more often throughout Victoria and Australia,” said Kimon Taliadoros CEO Football Victoria.
Research shows that 80% of all sports participants in Australia have experienced or witnessed discrimination on the basis of sexuality. We know more than half of all transgender people, a quarter of males and 10% of females avoided playing sports they would like to play because of their sexuality or gender identity. This program aims to address these inequities by providing a safe and welcoming environment for community members to be more active, enhance social bonds and strengthen connection to community.
“Sport can be such a powerful tool for inclusion, however, has all too often been an unsafe space for people in our communities. We are excited to be able to offer a space for LGBTIQ+ folks to come together in a social format and enjoy the benefits of participating in sport that so many take for granted. We hope this will help foster a positive relationship with sport for the participants, leading to ongoing involvement into their future”- Christine Granger, CEO, Proud 2 Play.
VicHealth Manager of Physical Activity and Sport Chris Lacey said it’s exciting to see the inclusive Parklife initiative kicking off. “VicHealth is delighted to be able to support Proud2Play to launch its Parklife program through our Reimagining Health grants,” Mr Lacey said. “Inclusive initiatives like Parklife support Victorians to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being active and socially connected after a really tough year.
“Protecting our health and wellbeing is more important than ever, so we’re thrilled to be able to work in partnership with local Victorian organisations to support communities to build back better from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 bushfires.”