PERTH Pythons club president Simon Thuijs is hoping to stick it to negative LGBTQI stereotypes with the first Pride Cup hockey match this month.
Members of Perth’s only LGBTQI hockey club will compete in the inaugural event which coincides with PrideFest.
Mr Thuijs said he hoped the match would help end negative stereotypes and promote diversity.
“It means a lot to us because often we have to hide who we are, be it at work or with our families, but sport is a place which we want to be welcoming,” he said.
“There’s something special about watching a competitive hockey match where our teams celebrate goals with high-kicks and cartwheels.
“The message we want to get out is that anyone can play hockey whether it be for Australia or as an amateur, we want everyone to feel welcome.”
Mr Thuijs formed the club about two years ago after realising Perth didn’t have its own LGBTQI hockey club.
Since then it has won a hockey tournament at Sydney’s Mardi Gras games, and now plans to enter a team at the 2018 Paris Gay Games.
“We’ve grown rapidly in the past two years; we’ve gone from a few people who signed up via a Google form to a club with almost 50 members and three seven-a-side teams,” Mr Thuijs said.
“I started the club after I played for an LGBTI team in London during my student exchange year.
“Competing with them in Stockholm, I met a similar team from Sydney, but when I came back to Perth I was pretty depressed that a team didn’t exist here.”
Pride Cup will take place on Thursday, November 23 at University of Western Australia Hockey Club from 6pm.
For more information, visit the Pride Cup Hockey Match Facebook page.