This year, the MCC Hockey Section is delighted to be taking part in Hockey Victoria’s Pride Cup Round (formerly the Fair Go Sport Round), taking place the week commencing Friday 2nd August through to the following Sunday 11th.
The club is committed to providing a welcoming environment to all players, supporters and officials, no matter age, race, or, in this instance, gender or sexuality, and so to demonstrate this a number of our teams (across all our sections) will be sporting rainbow laces during this period as a clear sign of our support. The laces look great and cost just $3 a pair with all proceeds going direct to Pride Cup Australia.
Whilst we would love to expand this to all of our teams in future, for this first year we are limiting the initiative to our Premier League and Reserves men’s and women’s teams, one Masters’ team, and to our U12 District and U18 team. We are asking all players in these teams to wear the laces however they’d wish – whether lacing shoes, tied around socks or arms, as a hair band, etc – and would love if you were on board and happy to enable your children to do this.
We would welcome any colourful support during this week, which will be culminating in our own Pride Cup Round this Saturday 10th at Melbourne High School during our men’s and women’s Premier League games – come on down! Please also check out our Facebook page for more videos, stories and pictures.
A few items to consider as well:
- We know that approx 10% of the population identifies as LGBTI+ and young people are part of that group. Holding a pride event shows young LGBTI+ and questioning players that they are welcome at their club.
- Research tell us that LGBTI+ people have a suicide attempt rate 6x that of their heterosexual peers, and that the average age of a first attempt is 16 years old. Young LGBTI+ people need more safe spaces and more opportunities to participate in activities that will connect them with community, and will benefit their physical and mental health.
- Pride events are not just about players. They show the the wider community that the club / organisation is a welcoming place for the local LGBTI+ community. Many ‘rainbow’ families want to be involved in community sport, but may hesitate if they are unsure of how they may be received.
- Holding a Pride event encourages everyone to think more about diversity and inclusion, and promotes equity, understanding and communication – no matter what the age of the participants, these values are a positive part of any sporting environment.
To learn more about the wider Pride Cup initiative, check out pridecup.org.au, and if you have any other questions you can reach out to Yan Adams from the Executive Committee.