A Q&A With Pride Cup

A Q&A With Pride Cup

 Volley are proud to be joining forces and partnering with Pride Cup! Starting March 1st, $5 from every Pride sale will support Pride Cup to champion LGBTIQ+ inclusion and diversity in sports clubs across the country. 🌈✨

Let's get to know them.....


What is the significance of hosting a Pride Cup event in various sporting codes, and how does it contribute to creating inclusive communities?

Sport is at the heart of Australian culture, but participation levels within the LGBTIQ+ community are as low as 6%, often due to fear of discrimination. 80% of Australians have experienced or witnessed homophobia in sport.* As players and as fans, LGBTIQ+ people are being driven away from sport or forced to remain closeted. The negative effects of social exclusion can be profound, and directly contribute to the disproportionately high rates of mental health issues and suicide in LGBTIQ+ people. 

Pride Cup works with sporting clubs and leagues across the country of all levels and sizes, to become more welcoming and inclusive spaces. We do this by taking clubs through accessible education on the issues faced by LGBTIQ+ people playing sport and how to welcome them, and we support teams to host an iconic rainbow-themed PrideGame event or PrideRound celebration. Seeing LGBTIQ+ people celebrated and elevated in an arena that has traditionally excluded them, is one of the most impactful parts of what we do.

Pride Cup’s approach of education PLUS rainbow-themed game days reduce homophobia and transphobia within clubs by 40-50% in their first year.


Can you share stories or testimonials from previous Pride Cup events that highlight the positive impact they've had on individuals and communities?

When Jason Ball, one of the founders of Pride Cup, came out to his teammates, they asked why it took him so long to do so, and he explained that he was never quite sure that he would be fully welcomed. Jason explained that casual homophobic jokes and language at the club made it hard for him to be sure his team would accept him. His teammates were horrified, and wanted to rally around Jason, and decided to host the first Pride Cup to show their support. The club wanted to send a strong message of acceptance to all LGBTIQ+ fans, players and officials through a visible celebration of diversity and inclusion.

We have so many incredible anecdotes of transformative moments for clubs. We’ve seen a 50-year-old cricket coach come out for the first time to their playing group as a result of hosting a Pride Cup.

Another story that stands out in my memory is my visit to Margaret River Tennis Club in January. The organiser of the club’s Tennis Pride Night, Lucy, had shared with me that they were already a pretty inclusive club, but they wanted to learn how to do more, and how to grow their community. I spent an afternoon at the Tennis Club with their President, coaches, players, and other community members, including the local mayor, who all turned up to participate in the education session.

Everyone in the room was so engaged with the content, shocked by the statistics, and willing to share their questions and concerns in a welcoming and safe environment. At the end of the session, the people in the room had such a fruitful conversation about not only how to make the tennis club more welcoming, but how they’ll take the things they learned in the session into their personal and professional lives. Teachers were planning to talk to their students about inclusive and respectful language, and one of the players who is also a psychologist walked away with the intention to display a progress flag in their window to signal to the community that everyone is safe with her. These small changes have such impactful ripple effects through communities - and this all came from a club who already viewed themselves as welcoming and inclusive.


"As the club that held the very first Pride Cup back in 2014, we have benefited enormously from holding this event annually.

The Yarra Glen Community now has great pride in their local club and we are better placed to attract players, supporters and sponsors.

The whole environment around the club is much more respectful making it a more welcoming place to be"

David Ball, Yarra Glen FNC Treasurer 

“Being an inclusive club is at the essence of our core values. Our Pride Cup events have been one way we can publicly demonstrate our commitment to this. I highly recommend running a Pride Cup event in your club if you want to open your club up to new possibilities!"

Carson White, President, Daylesford Football Netball Club

“Pride Cup for us, is about celebrating our LGBTQI+ members and ensuring they have a place to thrive, be active and contribute, without judgement or fear. Everyone deserves to belong.”

Carly O’Brien, Holy Trinity Cricket Club

“Our community has wholeheartedly embraced the (annual) Pride Cup round demonstrating that our sport is inclusive, promotes equality and provides a welcoming environment for all. We are also very happy to say that our community has emptied the Pride Cup shop of its socks twice and we look forward to doing it again.”

Justin Zelones, Softball Victoria ​

“As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, it was important to me that we weren't making a token gesture by throwing a Pride themed party to "show support". Having Pride Cup come and chat to us, and having many resources supplied, the club has made a commitment to be an inclusive place all year round, not just one day of the year. A lot of our attendees were shocked at the stats presented in the education session, and are committed to making sure everyone feels welcome at MRTC. As we live in a very open and accepting part of the world, our members agreed that we get complacent and just assume that everyone feels comfortable being themselves openly - now we know there are small, important things we can do to show support. I genuinely think this experience will change the morale of the club, and we will keep working to be seen as a safe space for all LGBTQIA+ community and allies."

Lucy Curtin, Margaret River Tennis Club


For someone new to Pride Cup, what are the key elements that make these events both celebratory and impactful for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies?

Pride Cup events create celebratory and impactful moments for the LGBTIQ+ community and allies through a combination of player education, a rainbow-themed game day and community engagement. Each Pride Cup event is unique - designed and delivered by people within the sporting clubs themselves to capture the values and personality of the club, with support from Pride Cup to make their vision a reality. Our events harness the power of sport and shared values to transform attitudes beyond the playing field and create ripple effects into the local community beyond the playing field.

Pride Cup meets clubs where they are in their journey of LGBTIQ+ inclusion, whether it’s a club with several out and proud players or one where homophobic commentary is commonplace. Our education model demonstrates the impacts of homophobic language and behaviour on individuals and on broader club culture, and invites players and administrators to consider how they can build a successful and inclusive environment. When a club decides that it will create an environment where everyone is welcome to truly be themselves, they see an influx of players, and an increase in performance, too.

By connecting with community clubs of all codes to help them run their own Pride Cup matches and attend our education sessions, we are empowering them to become leaders for inclusivity and diversity in their communities.


How can individuals or local sports clubs actively participate or support Pride Cup events, and what resources are available to help them get involved?

Every club across the country, from any sporting code, ability, or level, are welcome to host a PrideGame event at their club. Deciding to do it is the crucial first step! Once a player, administrator, President, or coach from a club reaches out with interest to hold a Pride Cup reaches out, we provide end-to-end support to run their event; from supporting them to pitch an event to their committee, to providing free education to all community-level clubs and their opposing clubs, to event planning support and training for security and venue staff. We’ll provide all host clubs with an organiser handbook, containing everything they need to run their event, we can help them source rainbow socks, uniforms, laces and flags, and help them reach out to local businesses to participate in and support the event. All you need to do is register your interest on our website, or attend a PrideGame event near you, to see what all the fun is about!


In what ways does Pride Cup aim to address challenges related to inclusivity in sports, and how can supporters become part of this movement for positive change?

The power of a Pride Cup is in its potential to change hearts and minds. Pride Cup events are joyous, celebratory statements of love and acceptance for LGBTIQ+ players, spectators and members of the local community that have an immediate and direct impact on the culture of the club, and the wider community.

Discrimination and hostility towards the LGBTIQ community often come from a place of ignorance, not hatred. Education can help break down barriers, smash stereotypes and make your club more welcoming. This strengthens community bonds and opens up your club to whole new base of supporters, players and volunteers. LGBTIQ Australians make up approximately 15% of the population and will represent a significant proportion of your local community – (and their families). Pride Cups have the ability to bring disparate communities together to form a united bond in showing acceptance and inclusion.

But a lot of work still has to be done to make sport safe and inclusive for everyone. We encourage everyone to host your own Pride Cup, or donate today - it costs us $500 to reach two community teams with LGBTIQ+ education, and it makes a world of difference.

Shop our Pride Collection and help make a change!

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