Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Intersex (LGBTI+) rights have been at the forefront of public and political debate in recent years. This has led to wider discussions within sport on how sport organisations might better support and provide for LGBTI+ athletes at all levels of competition.
Young people who identify as same sex attracted and gender diverse experience extremely low participation rates in sport. They are often invisible or silenced in sporting clubs. Research identifies that clubs are not seen as safe or welcoming and that sport has been found hostile and unappealing.
With support from Sport and Recreation Victoria, Cricket Victoria (CV) and Cricket Australia (CA) recently engaged with Victoria University (VU) to conduct research titled "Exploring LGBTI+ Inclusion within Australian Cricket". The research explored the current climate and attitudes towards LGBTI+ inclusion within Australian cricket. To investigate this, the following questions were asked:
1. What is the current attitudinal climate surrounding the inclusion of LGBTI+ players, coaches, volunteers and employees in Australian cricket?
2. What are the experiences of people who identify as LGBTI+ within Australian cricket, including both professional and community players, coaches, volunteers and employees?
Many participants within Australian cricket participated in a confidential survey while some also took part in an interview. Research findings are currently being processed and will be available for public viewing in coming months.
In partnership with Proud 2 Play, Cricket Victoria received funding from the VicHealth Innovation Challenge for our 'Proud Cricket' initiative.
Proud Cricket is designed to improve equity, diversity and inclusiveness by supporting clubs with education to create more inclusive club practices and improve club culture. The idea of the program is to improve education and embed a better participation pathway for LGBTI+ people with an overall aim to increase the participation of the Victorian LGBTI+ community within cricket. Clubs will also be eligible to receive a small grants incentive to become involved in the initiative.
The first stage of the program will be to provide education sessions including a 101 of LGBTI+ diversity in sport and will seek to provide all participants with the skills, tools, and resources to further increase inclusion of the LGBTI+ community in their club or association.
The program is evidence based from the LGBTI+ community and research by the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University.
If you or your club/association are interested in Proud Cricket and would like further information, please contact Bethany Murphy via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone 0438 078 316.