Diversity celebrated in region’s first Pride Cup

ALL OUT IN COLOUR FOR SUPPORT… From left (back), Ardmona Netball Club A-Grade team in rainbow colours for the first ever Pride Cup, Renee Ralph, Darci Sharp, Kat Bice, Jen Towers, Annie McKean and Jessica Lodding. (Front), Lakota Atkinson and Ann Williams. Photo: Supplied.

ALL colours of the rainbow were on display last Saturday, June 15, in a weekend dedicated to LGBTQI+ inclusion and diversity in sport. The inaugural Pride Cup saw Ardmona Football Netball Club take on Murchison-Toolamba Football Netball Club to celebrate and raise awareness for the local LGBTQI+ community and their allies.

Pride Cup began as a powerful gesture of mateship at Yarra Glen Football Netball Club in 2012 and has since grown into a national movement that unites communities. When Yarra Glen footballer Jason Ball publically came out as gay in 2012, his teammates came up with the idea of Pride Cup in a show of support, with players wearing rainbow jumpers and the 50-metre line painted rainbow colours.

It was an event that galvanised the entire community and became the inspiration for the now annual AFL Pride Game, first played between St Kilda FC and Sydney Swans in 2016. Pride Cup has now spread its rainbow wings, connecting communities across several sporting codes around the country.

Armonda Football Netball Club committee member, Teisha McCoy said that the inaugural Ardmona Pride Cup was a great success, with a fantastic turnout for Greater Shepparton’s first ever Pride Cup.

“Murch-Toolamba took out the 2019 Pride Cup after an exciting day of football and netball. We all had a great day celebrating diversity, inclusion and the LGBTQI+ community in club sports. Thank you to GV Pride and the Greater Shepparton LGBTQI+ Community Alliance for all their help in making this event a great success.”