Author Archives: Andrew Sloane

Launch of New LGBTIQ+ Resources for Clubs

Despite people who identify as LGBTIQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) making up an estimated 11% of the Australian population, research shows that sport participation rates for the LGBTIQ+ community are amongst the lowest of any community group.

To help clubs understand some of the barriers to participation for the LGBTIQ+ community, Proud 2 Play, together with South West Sport, have developed a suite of online resources, including a short course to be hosted on the well known “Play By The Rules” website.

The project was made possible through support from VicHealth, and had direct input from several south west sporting clubs whose feedback helped shape the online short course.

A launch event for the resources on September 22nd will feature an All-Star panel who have been assembled to introduce the sports industry to the new online resources.

To join in the live event, pre-register via the VicSport website HERE


R U OK? DAY SEPTEMBER 13 2102 – a conversation could change a life….

Community sports clubs are a great social connector. Under normal circumstances, they’re full of people we might see a couple times a week. We’d have a chat and a laugh as we train and play games together, and we might notice if someone seemed “a bit off”. But this year’s different…

September 10th marks R U OK Day for 2020. Of all the years that R U OK Day has been promoted, this year may be the most important to check in with people at your club and ask if they are okay.

Warrnambool Wolves Football Club is one south west club that fully supports the notion of asking others “R U OK?”. President of the Wolves, Brett Gasper, highlights the club’s attitude and culture of supporting each other through the R U OK? campaign.

“This is a message that easily translates to a sporting sense. At the Wolves we want to be known as a Club that looks after and supports our own but also make a contribution to the wider community.”

But for the Wolves, checking in on team mates is not just a once off. They sought permission to include the distinctive R U OK? messaging on club playing tops as a constant reminder to check in and support each other.

At the Warrnambool Wolves Football Club, asking R U OK? is not a one off event.

When asked about the importance of R U OK Day, Mr. Gasper replied,

“I love the message. There are services around that can help the individual, but R U OK? makes us all aware that we can play a big part in the mental health of friends, family and work colleagues and gives you the knowledge to ask R U OK? and respond accordingly.”

But there’s more to R U OK Day than just asking the question. The R U OK website is full of practical advice on how to ask someone if they are okay, and what to do if they tell you that they’re not. By following the R U OK guides and getting in the habit of checking in with each other, we will all help build more supportive clubs like the Warrnambool Wolves in our communities.

To help embed this supportive culture at your club, you may find the following tips helpful:

1. Coaches, officials and athletes demonstrate improvements in life skills and self-esteem.  
2. Athletes like and feel supported by their coach and peers.  
3. Coaches, officials and athletes exhibit kindness toward others.  
4. Sport is a positive and enjoyable experience for all involved.  
5. Coaches, officials and athletes promote a team environment based on mutual respect and positive relationships.  
6. Coaches, officials and administrators create a physically and emotionally safe environment.  
7. Coaches encourage athletes to work with and support members of their sporting community.  
8. Coaches, officials and athletes are confident they can spot the signs someone in their sporting community might be struggling with life.  
9. Coaches, officials and athletes feel confident and willing to have a meaningful R U OK? conversation.  
10. Coaches, officials and athletes feel a sense of connection and belonging within their sport community.

If you or someone you know needs further support, please call
– Lifeline 13 11 14
– Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
or ‘000’ in an emergency

“Draw” Your Neighbourhood these School Holidays

South West Sport has partnered with Portland SEA Change, Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation, Hands Up Casterton, and Portland YMCA to bring a fun activity to south west Victoria over the September school holidays!

Residents are being encouraged to download the free Strava app and track their movements around their neighbourhood, to see what creative “drawings” they are able to complete as part of the South West Moves challenge.

There are prizes up for grabs, with thanks to Corangamite Shire, Southern Grampians Shire, Glenelg Shire, Portland YMCA, and the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation.

Full details on are available via this link.

Policy of the Month – August, 2020

Our Policy of the Month for August is the Privacy Policy!

How often have you heard, “we can’t ‘cos of privacy”? The subject of privacy comes up a lot in community sport, and yet there is actually a lot of information that can be, and is meant to be, shared.

For example, disclosing an underlying medical condition could help key club personnel to save a life by sharing that information with paramedics.

So what information should be collected and shared?

OVIC – The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner, is “an independent regulator with combined oversight of information access, information privacy, and data protection”. They set out how people’s information can be collected, secured, used and disclosed, accessed and corrected, and destroyed.

OVIC sets out 10 Privacy Principles that are at the core of privacy law in Victoria, and set out the minimum standards on how to manage personal information.

By having a Privacy Policy that is reflective of these principles, your club will have a better understanding on what it can and can’t do with member information.

Privacy Policy
– from ClubHelp
– from Business Victoria

Contact South West Sport if your club needs help with your Privacy Policy.

LGBTI+ Inclusion in Sport

It’s been 5 years since the first AFL Pride Game; an occasion marked by the Round 9 clash between St Kilda and Sydney in this year’s 2020 AFL season.

The original AFL Pride Game stemmed from the work of Jason Ball and the Yarra Glen Football Club, who initiated the 2014 Community Pride Cup.

Research shows that members of the LGBTIQ+ community have traditionally felt unwelcome in mainstream sport and are more likely to experience mental ill-health than the wider community.

While the annual AFL Pride Game continues to set an example at the top level, behind the scenes, Pride Cup Australia continues to amplify the message at grassroots level.

This year, Pride Cups are adapting to Covid-19 Restrictions by encouraging clubs and leagues to consider running an online event to promote LGBTI+ Inclusion & Awareness. (See for details)

If your club is not ready to host an event just yet, you will soon be able to start your LGBTI+ Inclusion journey through a new e-learning resource, soon to be launched. South West Sport has been assisting with the new online resource being developed by Proud 2 Play and Play By The Rules, with thanks to the support from VicHealth

South West Sport will be promoting the new resource in the coming months.

Surviving Covid-19: Another Club Perspective

How has Covid-19 affected your club operations?

Watch the video below to hear the approach this club has taken through Covid-19 and as they now return to training as restrictions begin to ease!

Thank you to Warrnambool Wolves Football Club President Brett Gasper for taking the time to speak with us!