Last updated: 06 Jun, 2018

Pride Cup Australia’s #WEAREPRIDECUP campaign launches today to promote LGBTIQ+ inclusion and acceptance in community sporting clubs across the country.

With the AFL’s third Pride Game between St Kilda and Sydney Swans happening this weekend, Pride Cup Australia, with the support of VicHealth, St Kilda Football Club and Sydney Swans, are encouraging sports clubs across the country to host their own Pride Cup in 2019.

Since the first Pride Cup was held in 2014, over a dozen other Victorian grassroots clubs have thrown their support behind the model to make sure that no player, official or fan has to choose between being themselves or the game that they love.

James Lolicato, co-founder of Pride Cup Australia and 2017 Australian Community Leader of the Year, said he hoped Australian sports clubs would jump on board and show their LGBTIQ+ community members they welcome and support them.

“Pride Cup harnesses the power of sport to make sure every LGBTIQ+ person feels welcome and supported in their local club,” Mr Lolicato said.

“As the heart of many communities, sporting clubs have the power to create ripple effects and transform attitudes. Pride Cups have shown us first hand just how valuable this sense of inclusion is.”

Together, Pride Cup Australia, VicHealth, St Kilda Football Club and Sydney Swans will develop a set of resources and how-to guides to support community clubs to host their own pride-themed game in 2019 and beyond.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said grassroots sports clubs were at the heart of their community so could have a huge impact on making LGBTIQ+ players and fans feel included.

“We know that inclusion is fundamental to good health and wellbeing for everyone and that a sense of exclusion – from sport or society generally – has contributed to LGBTIQ+ people having some of the poorest mental health outcomes in Australia,” Ms Rechter said.

“The AFL’s Pride Game has been hugely successful, with over 90 per cent of LGBTIQ+ fans who attended finding it welcoming and inclusive. This is what we want LGBTIQ+ fans to experience at every football game – not just at Pride Game.

“That’s why we’re partnering with Pride Cup Australia to take the Pride Game message beyond AFL’s Pride Game into grassroots and community sport.”

Matt Finnis CEO of St Kilda Football Club and Andrew Ireland CEO of Sydney Football Club both welcomed the launch of the new campaign.

“The Yarra Glen Pride Cup was a major catalyst for St Kilda FC’s first ever Pride Game. Now three years on, we are very proud to be supporting Pride Cup Australia’s launch and the WEAREPRIDECUP campaign in order to expand the reach of Pride Cups to all community sporting clubs,” Mr Finnis said.

“The Sydney Swans strive to be a community leader in celebrating diversity and our Diversity Action Plan reflects our commitment to the LGBTIQ+ community. Supporting Pride Cup Australia and their community Pride Cups reiterates our ongoing commitment to making the sporting field a place where everyone is welcome and can feel safe,” Mr Ireland said.

The #WEAREPRIDECUP video will premiere on the big screen at Etihad Stadium on 9 June as part of the Pride Game celebration.

Clubs interested in hosting a Pride Cup are encouraged to contact Pride Cup Australia at

An embargoed copy of #WEAREPRIDECUP video is available to download.


Pride Cup Australia celebrates diversity and inclusion in sport for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities by tackling discrimination in sport. It is supported by VicHealth, St Kilda Football Club, Sydney Swans Football Club, Victorian Government, Progress Labs and Melbourne Accelerator Program.

The facts about LGBTIQ+ inclusion and sport

A VicHealth survey of more than 3,700 footy fans found:

  • Nearly three out of five participants had experienced or witnessed homophobia or transphobia at an AFL game
  • Before Pride Game more than 50 percent of LGBTIQ+ fans thought AFL games are not inclusive or welcoming
  • More than 90 percent of LGBTIQ+ fans found Pride Game safe, inclusive and welcoming
  • More than two thirds (67 percent) of straight fans said they were likely to intervene if they heard homophobic comments after the Pride Game.
  • Same-sex attracted Australians are up to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide compared to their straight peers.
  • A growing body of research shows LGBTIQ+ sports players feel like they need to be ‘in the closet’ in order to do so.
  • LGBTIQ+ people are three times more likely to experience mood disorders.


List of upcoming Pride Cups:
For full dates/details of the games click here.


10 June – Geelong Pride Cup; Sandringham (VFL) Pride Cup
17 June – Gippsland Pride Cup
23 June – Hamilton Pride Cup; Shepparton Pride Cup
30 June – Mordialloc Pride Cup
7 July – Colac Pride Cup
28 July – Gold Coast Pride Cup

Case studies and interviews with Pride Cup Australia and VicHealth spokespeople available on request.


Media contacts

VicHealth: Rachel Murphy Senior Media Advisor on 0435 761 732

Pride Cup Australia: James Lolicato, Project Leader on 0450 082 230

AFL Australia: Michelle Clyne, Publicity and Promotions Manager, 0411 964 141