Australian sporting codes sign for new system to measure LGBTI inclusion

Australian major sporting codes have committed to creating more inclusive environments for LGBTI people by participating in the newly launched Pride in Sport Index (PSI), which provides a framework to evaluate the efforts of sports bodies to better include LGBTI people within their organisations.

The index will annually rank the Australian Rugby Union, National Rugby League, Australian Football League, Football Federation Australia, Cricket Australia and Water Polo Australia, and assist them with all aspects of LGBTI inclusion and achieving best practice.

The programme is expected to create better health outcomes for LGBTI players, coaches, fans and others by creating inclusive spaces through the reduction of homophobia, stigma and discrimination.

Results will be published on an annual basis to show how participating organisations measure up, and awards will be provided to organisations and individuals demonstrating excellence in the promotion of LGBTI inclusion. The results of the first index will be released at an official event in March 2017.

ACON Vice President and Co-Founder of the PSI Andrew Purchas said: "In 2014, Australia’s major sporting codes signed up to the Australian Anti-Homophobia and Inclusion Framework for Australian Sport. Today’s launching of the world’s first Pride in Sport Index continues this important work.

"The Index will be more than just a signature on a piece paper. It will provide the means for sporting organisations to demonstrate how they’re reducing homophobia and transphobia and making sport more accessible for all."

The PSI has been developed following the release of the Out On The Fields study in 2015, which highlighted widespread homophobic abuse in Australia sport. According to the study, only 1 per cent of respondents felt that LGB people were accepted in sporting culture, and almost 80% believed that openly LGTBI fans would not be safe as spectators.

Football Federation of Australia (FFA) CEO David Gallop said: "FFA fully supports the PSI index as a way of benchmarking sporting organisations in regards to this important issue.

"Unfortunately, homophobia is still a major concern within the community and football has a unique position to be able to help change attitudes of many Australians. It is the right of every player, coach, volunteer and fan to feel accepted, on and off the sporting field, regardless of their sexuality."

Pride in Diversity is Australia’s first and only national not-for-profit employer support program for all aspects of LGBTI workplace inclusion.

It is an initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Sports Commission and a legacy of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 (the world cup of gay rugby).

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