Pride In Sport



Being positive towards LGBTQ+ employees, athletes, volunteers and spectators is the ultimate litmus test for an inclusive culture and takes an Australian diversity strategy to the next level by ensuring that workplaces are inclusive of all employees, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status.

For sporting leaders being asked to consider the issue of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status in the workplace, the response is often “Why?” or “What has this got to do with business or sport?”

The benefits of LGBTQ+ inclusion in sporting organisations have been highlighted in a number of national and international studies, including the most recent AWEI findings. Diverse teams are better able to solve complex problems and exhibit a higher level of creativity and a broader thought process.

It is unlawful in Australia to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status – directly or indirectly.


How will it help?

Diverse teams are better able to solve complex problems and exhibit a higher level of creativity and a broader thought process. By allowing your employees, athletes and volunteers to bring their full selves to the sport they love, you see

  • a positive impact on productivity, on-field performance and tenure;
  • enhance organisational reputation; and
  • maintain a competitive advantage.

Understanding differences between employees and bridging those differences is an essential means of creating an environment where everyone feels safe and valued.

Pride in Sport Australia

Pride in Sport is Australia’s first and only not-for-profit sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations and clubs at all levels with the inclusion of people with diverse sexualities and genders.


Membership Program:

The Pride in Sport membership program is designed to:

  • Assist Australian sporting organisations with all aspects of LGBTQ+ inclusion as it pertains to their sport and those working within the sporting organisation;
  • Work with members to achieve best practice as benchmarked by the Pride in Sport Index (PSI);
  • Create better health outcomes for LGBTQ+ players, coaches, fans and others by creating inclusive spaces though the reduction of homophobia, stigma and discrimination.

To find out more about the Pride in Sport Membership Program, please click here.



Pride in Sport Index

The Pride in Sport Index is an initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Sport Australia (previously Australian Sports Commission) and a legacy of the Bingham Cup, Sydney. Following the release of the Out on the Fields study in May 2015, the largest international study examining homophobia in sport, these organisations commissioned Pride in Diversity to develop a Pride in Sport Index.

The Pride in Sport Index (PSI) is the first and only benchmarking instrument specifically designed to assess the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people within Australian sport and sporting organisations. Participating in the index will allow Australian sporting organisations to not only assess their own practice, but determine that which constitutes good practice, along with the ability to benchmark their own initiatives against an external measure and other sporting organisations.

An advisory group was established to assist Pride in Diversity in the development of the Pride in Sport Index. The advisory group included; the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), Football Federation Australia (FFA), Cricket Australia, Swimming Australia, Water Polo Australia, Basketball Australia and Golf Australia.

Who can participate in the index?

  • Sport & Recreation Organisations
  • National Sporting Organisations
  • State Sporting Organisations
  • Regional Sporting Organisations
  • Sporting Associations
  • Elite Clubs
  • Community Clubs
  • Activity Centres
  • University Sports
  • Aquatic Centres
  • School Sports
  • Academies
  • Sporting Institutes
  • Government Sport Departments
  • Sports Federations

To find out more on the Pride in Sport Index, click here.


Why is it important?

The workplace

  • 56.3% of LGB employees within organisations active in LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion stated that they still witness or have been the target of negative commentary or jokes targeting LGBTQ+ people
  • 34.8% of respondents have witnessed or been the target of more serious LGBTQ+ bullying or harassment
  • 66.7% of employees surveyed were not out to their manager
  • Only 50% agreed that they would respond honestly if asked about their partner /family by a client, customer or key stakeholder
  • 33% reported that gay jokes/innuendo have had a negative impact on their day to day experience at work
  • Only 66.7% felt confident that their immediate manager would address homophobia in their work team
  • 11.1% felt that being out at work could be career limiting
  • Only 41.7% believed that being out would not change their relationship with their manager
  • 44.4% of employees were “not out at work” because they feared the repercussions

Sport specific

  • 80% of participants have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport
  • 75% believe an openly gay person would not be very safe as a spectator at a sporting event
  • 50% of gay men, 48% of lesbians, and 28% of straight men have been personally targeted
  • Of those who have been targeted 85% of gay men and 84% of lesbians have heard verbal slurs such as “faggot” or “dyke”
  • Most people believe sport is more homophobic than the rest of society
  • 87% of gay men and 75% of lesbians are completely or partially in the closet while playing youth sport. Many fear discrimination from players or officials.

Sources: AWEI Practice Points and Out on the Fields


Find out more:

For more information or to join this program, please contact the Pride in Sport team:

Pride in Sport Australia
Phone: (02) 9206 2138