Local baseball club the Werribee Giants is pitching the case for equality this weekend as it hosts a combined pride round and family event.
Players from the men’s and women’s teams will wear rainbow coloured socks to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community, and to raise awareness while generating funds for not-for-profit group Minus 18.
Giants player Connor Wilson said the club wanted to highlight the issue of homophobia in sport, and the need for safe spaces where people can take part in sport regardless of sexuality, gender, race or ability.
“There is an existing issue of homophobia and transphobia in sport and the club is committed to demonstrating its support, both to the LGBTQIA+ community and those from any other diverse background,” Connor told Geelong Broadcasters.
“We believe that everybody, regardless of sexuality, gender, race, ability or any other societal characteristic, deserves to be able to play sport.”
Minus 18 is a non-profit education and advocacy organisation that works to tackle the social isolation that is often experienced by young gay Australians. It provides workplace training, school workshops and campaigns among a diverse range of offerings and activities.
The group claims more than 20% of Australian high school students currently identify as LGBTQIA+.
Connor said the Giants decided to act after learning of negative experiences involving players in the Victorian Summer Baseball League and in other sports.
“It’s pretty hard to miss in the media, the kind of transphobia and homophobia that’s occurring,” he said.
The round will stretch across Saturday and Sunday at the Giants’ home diamond at Wyndham’s President’s Park. It will feature seven matches as well as children’s activities, temporary tattoos, coloured hair spray as well as hundreds of dollars worth of raffle prizes.
President’s Park is in McGrath Road, Wyndham Vale. Admission is free on both days.