Rod Laver Arena will light up in rainbow colours as the Australian Open 2022 celebrates its first ever Pride Day, in a show of support for the sport’s LGBTIQ+ players and fans.
The tennis tournament kicked off in Melbourne on Monday (January 17) and runs until January 30.
And on January 24 the inaugural AO Pride Day will take over the Melbourne Park venue and the Australian Open courts.
Expect pop-up pride-themed hubs and activities and roving entertainment throughout the precinct, as well as other special events including LGBTIQ advocates and sports stars.
Singer Jack Vidgen will give a pre-match performance at Rod Laver Arena, which will light up in rainbow that night.
Additionally, the now-annual AO Glam Slam is an LGBTIQ+ tennis tournament that runs the second week of the Australian Open.
The big Glam Slam final is on January 30 at the new Kia Arena, presented by Ralph Lauren.
Drag star Courtney Act (above centre) will MC the special event, with Australian band Client Liaison (above, left and right) also performing.
“It will be a glamorous day of sport, cocktails and sequins, all the fun bits of tennis,” Courtney said.
Australian Open’s Glam Slam is only tournament of its type worldwide
Glam Slam tournament director Rowen D’Souza said the event, which has run for the past few years, is the only LGBTIQ+ tennis tournament at a Grand Slam anywhere in the world.
“The Glam Slam is all about celebrating our community,” he says.
“We hope to inspire the community to participate in tennis knowing it’s a safe and welcoming environment.
“Hopefully the visibility of the Glam Slam will show up-and-coming or existing players that they can be themselves, openly acknowledge their sexuality and be accepted and supported.”
Tennis Australia CEO and Open director Craig Tiley hopes the Pride Day will showcase the inclusivity of the Australian Open and tennis in general.
“For many years we’ve hosted special events for the LGBTQ+ community, such as the Glam Slam and our pre-AO Pride night,” he said.
“Bringing many of our initiatives together on AO Pride Day is the natural next step.
“I’m delighted we can all come together as a community to celebrate together on this special day.”
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