TAFE students organise rainbow friendly sports match
In a bid to combat homophobia in sport, a group of TAFE students from the Melbourne's south west are hosting gay friendly football and netball matches.
According to reports in The Standard, TAFE student Mary Bourke and fellow classmates have organised the matches to show their support for same-sex attracted athletes.
“The topic of homosexuality in sporting clubs is a bit of a taboo topic, and it really shouldn’t be,” Bourke told The Standard.
Together with other students from the Diploma of Community Services course, Bourke has organised a series of Rainbow Matches to take place tomorrow at Mortlake between the Deakin Sharks and Alansford.
Players will wear rainbow armbands in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. “It goes beyond the classroom. It’s something we’re going to pitch to the league and hope they can continue on after we finish up this year,” Bourke said.
Course teacher Wendy Levers said the desire to host the matches had sprung out of discussions surrounding social injustice.
Fellow TAFE student Lisa Anders, who is a committed netball player, said she has not experienced homophobia on the court but suggested supporters might often yell homophobic slurs from courtside.
“I’ve never come across it in what I do but on the sidelines listening to supporters that’s where I see it the most,” she told The Standard.
The trio hope the matches will help spread a message of tolerance and equality on and off the playing fields.
Later this month Sydney will play host to the Bingham Cup – also known as the Gay Rugby World Cup- thousands of players and supports are expected to converge on the city for the event.
Prior to the Cup the five major sporting codes have signed an anti homophobia framework with an aim of stamping out homophobia in Australian sports.
Image: South West TAFE’s diploma of community services students Mary Bourke (left) and Lisa Anders and teacher Wendy Lever. (The Standard)