Last month two of our Taroona FC representatives, Izzy Ottavi and Cayden Winterbottom, attended a fantastic workshop run by Working It Out. The LGBTIQ+ Inclusion In Sport workshop is run regularly state-wide through WIO’s Everyone Can Play project, and provides advice and knowledge to sporting clubs and organisations about operating sustainable and safe communities.
A key point raised in the workshop was that almost any LGBTIQ+ person who has played sport, either at school, local club, or at an elite level, will have at best questioned whether their sporting community would be an ok place for them to come out, and at worst been exposed to hateful and hurtful language and abuse.
Taroona FC prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive community, and is vehemently against any forms of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic behaviour or commentary from any players, staff, volunteers and supporters. Nevertheless, there are always more ways to improve and stand up against discrimination.
Another key take-away from the workshop was the power of visibility. In recent Tasmanian interviews done by WIO, LGBTIQ+ athletes reported on how a simple rainbow sticker displayed at a sporting club or organisation can give a major boost in their feelings of safety and belonging. You may notice some new posters at the Clubhouse as we aim to create more obvious support for our LGBTIQ+ community members, and any visitors who may be attending Taroona FC for the first time.
For a bit of extra reading, check out this great article about the role the Matildas and women’s football has played in creating visibility for LGBTIQ+ women:
“Women's football has long been a space where LGBTQIA+ players, coaches, officials, and fans have been welcomed and accepted, with participants actively creating a sense of community that can be difficult to find in other areas of the world. Exactly why women's football, and women's sport more widely, has become this safe haven is complex.”
And if you’re based in Launceston, the next LGBTIQ+ Inclusion In Sport workshop is being held Thursday 27th June: