Gippsland PHN proudly supported the inaugural Gippsland Pride Cup on 15 June 2019 at Lardner Park.
The Roller Derby event was opened by Baw Baw Shire Councillor Mikalea Power with the opening ceremony marked by Executive Officer, Dan Poynton signing the ‘Pledge of Pride’ on behalf of GippSport, the first Regional Sport Assembly to sign the pledge for LGBTIQ inclusion.
The day commenced with a demonstration of commitment to welcome all athletes, employees, volunteers and spectators regardless of their sexuality or gender identity.
Gippsland PHN’s Chief Executive Officer, Amanda Proposch said Pride Cup events are a wonderful catalyst for the Gippsland region to celebrate and champion inclusion through sport.
“The Gippsland Primary Health Network needs assessment identified a lack of community connectedness as an issue underlying many health conditions. Sporting clubs are a valuable asset to reducing social isolation and improving health outcomes for our community”, she said.
An action-packed exhibition game between local team Gippsland Power Ranges and The Gender Ending Story (GES); a team made up of Australian and New Zealand players who identify as transsexual and gender diverse added to the festival atmosphere.
The idea for Pride Cup was created by former AFL player Jason Ball. Inspired by his own local team mates who held a rainbow themed match to show their support for him after publicly coming out as gay in 2012. The movement gained national recognition with the first AFL Pride Game played in 2016. They continue to support sporting groups to host their own events to celebrate inclusion around the country.
Pictured: Gippsland Ranges Roller Derby Secretary Bodye Darvill, Baw Baw Shire Mayor Cr Mikaela Power, Pride Cup Co-founder and Director James Lolicato, Gipps Sport Executive Officer Dan Poynton.
Photos by: Lauren Murphy Photography