LGBTIQ+ inclusion in sport to be discussed at Brisbane conference

Rainbow Jerseys Pride Cup LGBTIQ+ inclusion Israel Folau
Players' rainbow jerseys. Photo: Pride Cup Australia

Israel Folau’s anti-gay comments and Caster Semenya’s IAAF testosterone ruling will be among the topics to be discussed at next week’s LBGTIQ+ Inclusion in Sport conference at the University of Queensland.

Former athletes, sports leaders, and LBGTIQ+ inclusion experts will address the conference to explore how sport can approach issues related to LBGTIQ+ inclusion in sport.

Dr. Ryan Storr, director, and co-founder of Proud 2 Play and lecturer in Sports Development at Western Sydney University will present at the conference and he said in the past few months alone, LGBTIQ inclusion in sport had been widely debated.

“The impact of such debates seeks to further marginalise and exclude LGBTIQ+ people, especially young people, who already distance themselves from sport and exercise,” Dr Storr said.

“It’s vital that we continue discussions around how we can better include and support LGBTIQ+ people within sporting communities across Australia, and highlight the positive benefits that sports engagement can render.

“Hosting such forums and conferences allows us to share good practice and better support the sports sector in providing inclusive sporting opportunities for all Australians.”

Other speakers and panelists will include President of Tennis Victoria and sports development researcher Associate Professor Emma Sherry, lecturer in Socio-Cultural Studies Rebecca Olive, President of the Brisbane Hustlers Rugby Union Football, Jason Garrick and Brisbane’s Gay Games’ bid founder Dr. Jason Davis.

“All sports organisations from national to local club need to create a space that is safe, welcoming and inclusive for all participants, regardless of their gender or sexuality,” Associate Professor Sherry said.

“Those sports that can create these environments benefit from a broader membership and participant base, and are more successful both on and off the field.”

Dr Rebecca Olive added that sport needs to pay a lot more attention to issues of gender and sexuality.

“The continued debates that exclude the full participation of trans and intersex women in sport remind us how strongly sex/gender binaries continue to define social life and expectations,” Dr Olive said.

The conference is on at the University of Queensland and is free to attend.

Attendees will be able to network and gain insight from others who have a shared interest in creating more inclusive opportunities for the LGBTIQ+ community in sport.

The LGBTIQ+ Inclusion in Sport Conference is at UQ’s Viewpoint Room next Tuesday (May 7) from 8:45am to 1pm.


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