Both the Queensland Firebirds and Collingwood Magpies will make history when the clubs take each other on as part of Suncorp Super Netball’s first Pride Match – a club-led initiative – in the final round of the regular season.
Netball Queensland recently became a member of ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program to ensure the Queensland netball community can access services that are inclusive and respectful – employees, athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.
The membership with Pride in Sport seeks to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increase the visibility of LGBTIQA+ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse, intersex, queer, asexual and questioning) in the netball community.
Cis-gay man Brent Pace said he supported the Pride Match at the elite level but hoped Netball Australia follows suit in 2022 and beyond.
“My thoughts were twofold. It is so great to see the Firebirds hosting this round and as someone who is part of the LGBTIQA+ community, netball has always been so welcoming and was my place to find myself with no judgment,” he said.
“It is great to see one of the clubs really celebrate that aspect of our game and how netball really is a game and place for everyone no matter who you are.
“On the flip side, I wish this came from Netball Australia and they created this as a whole round for all the teams to get on board with to really celebrate the community – especially when we have out and proud players who are real role models for young people.
“But again this can be a great stepping stone to hopefully build on this one game this year to hopefully expand into a round to really show how inclusive and diverse the netball community is.”
Netball Queensland and Firebirds CEO Catherine Clark said the club was excited to host the match to promote positive messages and examples around LGBTIQA+ inclusion for both netball and sport.
“Through our partnership, we aim to further our inclusive practices so that everyone feels welcome in our netball community,” she said.
“On an individual level, we know the increased visibility of the LGBTIQA+ community can serve as a reminder of worth, help minimise isolation and offer opportunities to connect through sport.
“We live and breathe our values everyday of being brave and inclusive. We want to celebrate and encourage the diversity within our netball community and an opportunity to inspire all of our associations and clubs across Queensland to consider what they are doing to ensure that the LGBTIQA+ community feel welcome and supported every day.
“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of kindness, inclusivity and emotional bravery. Stand for equality.”
While this is a first for the top-flight competition, the Victorian Netball League has hosted pride rounds since 2016.
As part of our Pride Match, a supporter shirt is also available for pre-order on the Firebirds website.
Netball Queensland will donate all of its profits to Pride in Sport.
Categories: Suncorp Super Netball