The Commonwealth Sport Pride Network has been launched to positively champion and enable LGBTQ+ inclusion at the Commonwealth Games and across the Commonwealth Sport Movement.
Supported by Commonwealth Games Australia, the Commonwealth Sport Pride Network is a voluntary network and coordination group, that looks to bring together athletes, coaches, Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs), Games organisers, stakeholders, partners and allies.
The Commonwealth Sport Pride Network is open to all.
Commonwealth Games Australia has been an active participant in an international working group of athletes, CGAs and stakeholders who have set out four key areas of focus – community, education, visibility and influence – enabling the network to:
- Create a safe space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to meet, support and coordinate activities as a community
- Increase visibility and awareness of LGBTQ+ inclusion and participation in Commonwealth sport and positively promote equality, role models, best practice and support Pride House at the Games
- Support allies, CGAs, Games organisers and other stakeholders through information-sharing, training and education
- Provide a collective platform to influence and drive positive change for LGBTQ+ acceptance and equality across Commonwealth Sport and the wider Commonwealth.
Athletes, coaches, stakeholders and team members can sign up at www.thecgf.com/pride to become part of the network and get involved in supporting activities at Birmingham 2022 and across the Movement.
The launch of the network coincides with international Rainbow Laces Day 2021, which celebrates the impact that sport has on LGBTQ+ people and the impact that LGBTQ+ people have on sport.
Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said: “We are launching today the Commonwealth Sport Pride Network to champion and enable LGBTQ+ inclusion at the Games and across our Movement.
“We hope the network will be a safe space to connect, support, learn, understand and celebrate. This is not a political movement, but an opportunity to champion inclusion and tell stories in a positive way.
“In launching this voluntary network, we are mindful of Commonwealth-wide realities. Our cultural and religious diversity defines our family, and it is important for the CGF to continue to lead by example, embracing our shared passion for sport and living our values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny.
“As ‘the Games for Everyone’ we all hope Birmingham 2022 will provide an inspiring and important opportunity to engage, champion and benefit many diverse communities, and I am proud that this will now include support and initiatives for the LGBTQ+ sporting community.”
Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips AM said the Commonwealth Sport Pride Network had the support of Commonwealth Games Australia and said it built on the initiatives at both the Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where Prides Houses featured in both host cities.
“Two of CGA’s values are inclusiveness and respect and we aim to we live diversity, inclusiveness and the broadest possible definition of team,” Phillips said.
“We have been an active participant in this project, and Commonwealth Games Australia recently surveyed more than 500 alumni members with a significant majority supportive of the development of a Pride Network.
“We are currently developing our Diversity and Inclusion statement for our Birmingham Team and for the Commonwealth Sport Movement in Australia more broadly.
“This will sit alongside the work the CGF is doing on Athlete Advocacy and will look forward to releasing the details of both activities in the lead up to the Games.”
Jamaican swimming star Michael Gunning, who has worked with the CGF to help establish the Commonwealth Sport Pride Network, said: “I am delighted to see the launch of the Commonwealth Sport Pride Network which is a ground-breaking moment in international sport.
“With my longstanding personal journey in commonly advocating for LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, and with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games next year, we have a fantastic opportunity to provide a platform for visibility and impact. I would encourage all athletes and allies to sign up to the network and encourage everyone to work closely with us to bring about requisite inclusion by sharing our stories in a positive and impactful way.”
To find out more and register your interest for the Commonwealth Sport Pride Network, visit www.thecgf.com/pride