In a celebration of diversity and inclusivity, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) is proud to announce the continuation of its Pride Celebrations, signifying the code’s ongoing commitment to making football accessible and inclusive for everyone.
Set to take place from March 8-10 in Australia and March 30 in New Zealand, across both the Liberty A-League Women and Isuzu UTE A-League Men, the 2024 celebration builds on the success of last year as the A-Leagues became the first league in the world to hold simultaneous men’s and women’s Pride Celebrations grounded in education.
Over the last two-and-a-half-years, the APL has developed and delivered a series of initiatives, including a comprehensive training program for players, staff, executives and partners, and the roll out of GoBubble technology to help moderate online hate.
In 2024, the A-Leagues are once again providing LGBTIQ+ inclusion training to all players and key stakeholders. The training content is being uniquely designed for players by players by partnering with the PFA and our delivery partner, Pride Cup.
The March celebrations will be headlined by the annual Pride Cup double-header between Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory. Across the weekends, a number of Men’s and Women’s teams will also celebrate Pride in their own way including engaging community groups, rainbow corner flags, rainbow armbands, while some clubs will play in a special Pride kit and rainbow socks.
A-Leagues Commissioner Nick Garcia said: “The Pride celebration is another example of how welcoming and inclusive football is as a sport for everyone in Australia and New Zealand.
“We began this journey with Pride Cup and the PFA in 2021 and are looking forward to continuing what is an extremely important initiative within our game. We are proud of the efforts that football in Australia and New Zealand has made to make football more inclusive for fans, players and staff and we look forward to continuing to play our part in 2024.
“The Pride Celebration is grounded in education and training with the ambition of seeing every person involved within our game in Australia and New Zealand feeling safe and included.”
Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Player Representative and Central Coast Mariners’ Liberty A-League Women captain Taren King said: “I’m really excited for Pride round this season. Last year we saw a number of clubs make a big effort to show their support for the LGBTQI+ community and I’m looking forward to seeing more clubs get around the initiative this season. I think it’s so important that both clubs and players use their platforms to show our fans that everyone has a place in our game and all individuals are accepted for who they are.”
Pride Cup, Chief Executive Officer, Hayley Conway said: ”The A-Leagues Pride Celebration is the first of its kind in the world, bringing together inclusion training and iconic rainbow-themed matches across both men’s and women’s professional leagues.
“Every club, every player, and every fan can play a part in bringing pride to every pitch and learning to every locker room. With just 6% of LGBTIQ+ young people feeling safe to play sports, Pride Cup initiatives are critical to making sure that everyone can play.”.
To find out more about A-Leagues, visit: www.aleagues.com.au