The University Football Club is a place for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
This is why the football club took the step this year to introduce a club-wide pride round for the first time. Pride can be defined as the confidence and self-respect expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalised on the basis of their identity, culture and experience.
It is important for community organisations to not only acknowledge and raise awareness for pride, but to take meaningful steps to fix institutionalised disadvantages for LGBTQIA+ members of the community.
We want to give everyone the chance to feel included and have the opportunity to experience what it means to be a part of the University Football Club” – President Jake Colvin
During the week, teams were encouraged to train in their biggest and brightest colours and waved the pride flag during the warm up. Teams also discussed the current club culture surrounding members of the LGBTIQ+ community and ways to improve inclusion moving forward.
On game day, each player wore a rainbow armband (Seen below), further raising awareness and sparking conversation on field.
“It is so important and exciting to play for a club that is accepting of everyone and encourages, supports and promotes important rounds such as Pride Round. To have all teams across the club embrace this round makes myself and many other players proud to play for University” Said Women’s Vice-Captain Lauren Bilaloski
“It is important to showcase rounds like this to the community as it shows the importance of being proud to be your authentic self and more importantly inspires younger players to embrace differences in all. Visibility is the most important way we can create acceptance and togetherness.
“University has an ability to make everyone, and anyone feel welcome and accepted no matter who you are, who you love and what you identify as. Inclusivity at Uni footy is a priority and is showcased every week whether at training, game day or social/team events.
“Pride to me, is living in a world where you aren’t afraid to be your authentic self. It is being around communities, people, and places where you feel safe, loved and accepted. It’s knowing that you can live your life being exactly who you want, love who you want and be proud to be your true self… whatever that may look like.
“I come down to Uni footy every week and feel exactly that. I feel safe, I feel loved and accepted for exactly who I am and for choosing to love and be loved by whoever I choose.”