St Kilda Football Club is proud to announce the return of the Pride Game for 2019.
Round 23 against Sydney will mark the fourth iteration of the annual fixture, with last year's theme of I'll Stand By You back for this season's instalment.
The message addresses the importance of inclusion, family and acceptance among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) community, which is fully supported by the St Kilda Football Club.
Saints CEO Matt Finnis was thrilled to have the fixture return for 2019 and said the Pride Game was crucial in epitomising the sense of belonging the Saints strive to create.
"The work we do throughout the year in celebrating diversity and inclusion is something we as a club are proud to be a part of, and the Pride Game is the ultimate show of that," Finnis told saints.com.au.
“It shines a light on the importance of inclusion and ensuring football is a game for everyone. It’s been a pleasure partnering with the Swans for the past few years to bring that concept to the big stage.
“It goes without saying that every person who goes to the football should be able to experience that sense of belonging that we associate with footy, no matter their gender identity or sexual preferences."
St Kilda Football Club was awarded the Highest Ranked Club at the 2019 Australian Pride in Sport Awards, marking the third year in a row that the club’s work in the LGBTIQ inclusion space has been recognised by Pride in Sport (PSI).
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The 2015 study Out on the Fields found that 80% of those involved in sport in Australia believed gays and lesbians were not accepted within the sporting community.
Nine out of 10 young people felt they could not be honest about their sexuality for fear of discrimination, while Australia had the highest number of gay men who believed they were not "at all accepted" in sport with 13 per cent.
St Kilda Football Club has long been involved in creating and nurturing inclusive environments, with the Saints, Sandringham Zebras and Southern Saints showing their commitment throughout the course of the season.
The Zebras and Southern Saints' Pride Cup matches at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval last month saw an overwhelming amount of support from both playing groups and the wider community.
Specialised jumpers, banners and a rainbow of colours decorated the afternoon, and similar scenes will be seen in the coming weeks when the Saints face the Swans.
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For those attending this year's Pride Game, tickets for the Rainbow Bay will be available. Tickets can be bought here.
St Kilda Football Club Pride merchandise will be sold at the venue and through Saints Locker.
The Saints will face Sydney at the SCG on Saturday 24 August at 1:45pm.