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Pride Cup kicks off
Apr20

Pride Cup kicks off

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 30 April 2014 12:01 Written by // James Findlay

The inaugural Pride Cup will kick off next month, with two country Aussie Rules teams competing to celebrate diversity and tackle homophobia in our nation’s favourite sport.

Traditional rivals, Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction, from the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football Netball League, will be the first two teams to go head to head in what is planned to be a new precedent for inclusion in sport for the LGBTIQ community.

Yarra Glen is the football team of Australia’s first openly gay Aussie Rules player, Jason Ball, who’s ‘coming out’ was met with strong support from his teammates and also challenged the AFL to be on the front foot when it comes to stamping out homophobia.

"In my mind the most significant message that the Pride Cup sends to the local community, is that it's OK to be gay” Jason said.

“That is a message that young LGBT people desperately need to hear, especially in regional and rural areas,” he said.

AFL spokesman James Tonkin said the Pride Cup was another positive initiative to promote inclusion and diversity in sport.

“The AFL wants to ensure Australian football at every level provides a safe and welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of their race, religion or sexual identity.”

“We will continue to support impressive efforts such as the Pride Cup to break down barriers and to combat homophobia wherever it exists.”

The football and netball teams from Yarra Glen and Yarra Junction will compete in the inaugural Pride Cup on Saturday, May 3.

Image: Jason Ball

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James Findlay

James Findlay

James Findlay is a Melbourne-based writer and broadcaster who has worked in community media for many years. He has won awards for his work on The Naughty Rude Show on SYN, and can be heard on JOY 94.9's breakfast program, Triple Threat, and Hide and Seek - exploring sex, sexuality and self. James was also the Marketing and PR Manager for Melbourne's Midsumma Festival for two years, before traveling overseas where he taught English in Germany and worked as a tour guide around Western Europe. He is currently studying his Masters at Melbourne University in Public Health (specialising in Sexual Health).

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