The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has become a Principal Partner Member of Pride in Sport to strengthen its commitment to supporting LGBTIQ+ athletes, coaches and staff.
Chief Executive of the AIS, Peter Conde said Pride in Sport was Australia’s first and only sporting inclusion program designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of employees, players, volunteers and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.
Mr Conde said it was important for the AIS to become a member of Pride in Sport due to the leadership role it could play in championing LGBTIQ+ inclusion.
“This membership will inform how the AIS can create inclusive spaces by reducing homophobia, stigma and discrimination,” Mr Conde said.
“We know that when coaches, athletes, support staff and volunteers can come to work as their full selves they’ll perform better and enjoy more fulfilled lives,” he said.
“Together we’re ensuring that sport is for everyone.”
Mr Conde said LGBTIQ+ athletes, coaches, support staff and volunteers had the right to feel like they belonged and were safe to participate in Australian sport.
Australian Water Polo Captain, Rowie Webster, who is preparing to depart for Tokyo and her third Olympic Games, said the AIS’s support for Pride in Sport was welcome news.
“I’m really proud of the AIS to have the Pride in Sport membership because it promotes that we are moving in the right direction,” Ms Webster said.
“LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport is really important to me because currently 75 per cent of LGBTIQ+ women are still in the closet in the world of sport,” she said.
Ms Webster said it needed to be recognised that there was more work to do to create a safe environment for athletes in the LGBTIQ+ community.