MORE than 150 athletes from seven sporting codes are set to come together for the inaugural Perth Pride Sports Festival.
Festival founder Simon Thuijs said the event championed fun and festivity to break down the barriers of ‘I could never do that’.
“LGBTI Aussies are twice as likely to have experienced higher levels of psychological distress than their peers,” he said.
“Sport is a great way to build resilience and social links to a community which provides club members a lifetime of benefits.”
According to Out on the Fields, the first international study on homophobia in sport in 2015, 80 per cent of Australian sports participants have experienced or witnessed homophobia in sport.
“We’re here to show that there’s many Perth clubs who are welcoming and inclusive,” Mr Thuijs said.
Perth’s all-inclusive hockey team the Perth Pythons recently returning from a winning trip to the Gay Games in Paris, and it was this trip that encouraged Mr Thuijs to create an event for Perth to celebrate diversity in Perth.
The Pride Sports Festival will see athletes, national sporting ambassadors, local MPs, drag queens and spectators gather at UWA Sports Park and HBF Stadium on Saturday, November 17.
The festival is free for the public to come and watch exhibition matches, with food and drinks, a ‘Have a Go’ hub, entertainment and more on offer.
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