As a kid growing up in country Victoria, I loved playing footy more than anything. But as I got older, the football club also felt like the one placed that I would never be accepted for who I was.
Homophobic slurs were considered part of the game, whether coming from over the fence, the opposition, or even my own teammates. It took me more than 10 years to finally come out to my club.
When I did, not only did my teammates stand by my side, but together, we created the Pride Cup.
Five years after the first Pride Cup, we're now supporting 11 annual games across the state, and this is just the beginning. More towns across Australia are ready for Pride Cup, and we're ready to bring it to them.
I’ve already assembled an A team with the right mix of skills and personal experiences to make it happen -- James Lolicato, who founded and runs Proud2Play, an organisation that delivers sport clinics for LGBTI kids, and Emily Rowe, an out and proud transgender footballer, country girl. Emily is also an operations guru having run asmall business with more than 20 staff.
Now, we need your help to make this a reality.
Can you chip in to help us take Pride Cup Australia-wide?
As the heart of many communities, football clubs have the power to create ripple effects and transform attitudes towards inclusion and diversity. Our goal is to hold 150 annual games - that's a Pride Cup in every football league around Australia, every year.
If thousands of Australians like you contribute what you can afford, we can raise $50,000 to kick off and send the message that we're ready to celebrate Pride Cups in every corner of the country.
Jason Ball, Founder Pride Cup