WITH just over a week until Yarra Glen hosts its second Pride Cup, the town is showing its colours, with shopfronts hosting flags supporting the anti-homophobia cause in the lead-up to match day.
On Sunday 17 May, Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve will host a face-off between Yarra Glen Football Netball Club and Warburton-Millgrove in the second annual Pride Cup.
The cup aims to recognise diversity and inclusion in the sport for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex (LGBTI) community and to campaign against homophobia in the sport.
Last year’s event was brought about by coach Dean de Munk and assistant coach Sam Hills after Yarra Glen footballer, Jason Ball, came out as a gay footballer in 2012, to the support of his team and his community.
As a show of support, the Yarra Glen Men’s Shed has been commissioned by the Yarra Ranges Council and the Yarra Glen Chamber of Commerce to construct 20 wooden versions of the rainbow pride flag, which will be put up in business windows along Bell Street in the lead-up to the match.
Jason’s father, Yarra Glen Football Netball Club treasurer and Pride Cup co-ordinator, David Ball, said the community had supported the cup and its message, and that the rainbow of the flag would feature prominently in the game.
Both teams will wear specially made jumpers, which replace one of the team’s colours with the rainbow from the pride flag, which will also feature on the 50-metre line, the goal post pads and umpires’ flags.
“We’re just ecstatic,” Mr Ball said.
“It was quite humbling actually walking down the main street of Yarra Glen after the (2014) event, getting a lot of people congratulating the club on what they’ve done.”
“Generally, the support for the club for what we’ve done in the community has been outstanding.”
This year’s Pride Cup will feature a special pre-match lunch, featuring keynote speaker, beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett, gay amateur footballer Shaun Towner, among other speakers.
Ex-Carlton footballer Brock McLean will be playing alongside Yarra Glen, and St Kilda Football Club players will run Auskick drills with children at the event.
The 2015 Pride Cup will be the first match played on the Yarra Glen Recreation Reserve Oval, which recently had a $600,000 upgrade from the Yarra Ranges Council, and begins at 10am.
For more information, visit www.pridecup.org.au.
The Mail News Group is a media partner and supporter of the Pride Cup.
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