Pride Cup returns to its grassroots origins

Pride Cup returns to its grassroots origins

When I came on board as Chair of Pride Cup, I was particularly horrified by two statistics: 85% of Australians have witnessed homophobia in sport, and 75% of them still don’t think it’s safe to be a gay spectator at a sporting event. 

Pride Cup harnesses the power of sport to send a strong message of hope, inclusion and acceptance to LGBTIQ+ athletes, officials and supporters. By addressing harmful gender norms at community level, we believe we can affect instances of homophobia and harassment throughout greater society.

Pride Cup is as much about education as it is about sport. Research out of Princetown University has found that using peer role models to deliver education and call out harmful language is much more effective than the use of professional trainers. Bystander training developed by Monash University in partnership with the Pride Cup charity was provided for team captains at the world’s first community rugby pride game, hosted by Melbourne Rugby Club last weekend. A 2020 report released by Monash University and VicHealth shows participants from clubs participating in a Pride Cup were less likely to use discriminatory language than those from community clubs, and have a positive influence on providing supportive sporting environments for LGBTI+ players. The training is being rolled out in community Australian rules clubs in Melbourne through May.

Sam Larritt, captain of Melbourne Rugby Club’s Colts (under-20) team, told The Guardian’s Megan Maurice the training was eye-opening. “I hadn’t thought about my role in stopping language like this,” said Sam. “I think the benefit of asking captains to help is that they have a relationship with the guys. It’s not some stranger coming in and telling them to stop using language and making them feel bad.”

“It’s a lot easier for me to have a conversation with everyone about the kind of environment we want. I’m also with the guys a lot and so I can remind them of the language we decided is acceptable as a group.” (Maurice, The Guardian, 2021)

Last weekend, the sun was shining out the Yarra Valley, the footy and netball players had an extra smile and understanding in their exchanges and the lines on the field were brilliant, arching rainbows. It was wonderful to see the Pride Cup played back where it all began. 

When Jason Ball publicly came out as gay in 2012, his teammates from the Yarra Glen Football Netball Club wanted to show him they had his back. The team came up with the idea to stage a Pride Cup, with players wearing rainbow jumpers, and 50 metre lines painted in rainbow colours. It was an event that galvanised the entire community and became the inspiration for the now annual AFL Pride Game, first played between St Kilda FC and Sydney Swans in 2016. Since hitting the national stage, communities across Australia have joined the movement, with Pride Cups being expanded into other sporting codes nationally.

Ultimately, we are trying to shift the conversation and ensure that people of all shapes and sizes, gender identities or personal identities feel welcome, safe and celebrated in sport.

While it’s been great to see pride games have become common throughout professional sport, Australia is unique in holding these events in regional and community settings, where harm can be insidious and unvetted. A Pride Cup event allows the issue to be raised in a positive way that enables us all to be a part of a more equitable and caring culture. We are committed to building momentum throughout all sports and beyond Aussie borders.

Why not host a Pride Cup event with your local sporting association or get your company involved as a meaningful way of making progress on the diversity and inclusion agenda? Pride Cup has grown into a national movement for change that transcends sport. We’d love you to be a part of it.

Visit to get involved.

The Leading Edge

The Leading Edge

Leadership is within everyone’s reach, everyone’s ability and everyone’s power.

The Leading Edge is written for those who wake up every morning caring about being a better human, building a better world. It’s for those who are done with the status quo, who feel restless for a new tomorrow, today.

The answers aren’t simple. The Leading Edge is the culmination of years of research and interviews with luminaries like Susan Cain and Condoleezza Rice to Barack Obama and Malcolm Gladwell. Diverse leadership stories construct a framework for future leadership.

Through three principles – mindset, method and mastery – you’ll discover how to first lead yourself, then others. With the right tools, anyone can lead the change they care enough to make. 

The Leading Edge breaks open the notion that leadership is exclusive. It’s not. And in today’s world more than ever we simply cannot afford for it to be.  ‘Leading from the edge’ means harnessing the state of mind, the processes and the artistry that will arm leaders like you for impact. Become the leader the world needs you to be.

Holly ransom

As a globally renowned key-note speaker, Holly has recently presented over 500 sessions across six continents. Holly’s differentiated perspective and strong voice break open obscure technical language, spur motivation to solve for the world’s greatest challenges and ignite the confidence to engage in inclusive debate.

Speaking topics - pair your event with a book offer



Leadership as a mindset

Empower your people to harness purpose as a personal and collective motivator. Empower your teams to expand their sphere of influence, hone their risk appetite, and reframe their role in greater business success. As Gandhi put it, let’s teach your people to do what they can, with what they have, from where they are. Starting today.

Key takeaways:

  • Purpose: Knowing your why is one thing, knowing their why is everything.

  • Risk: Pre-mortems, black boxes, asking the questions without answers. Build your ability to bounce back from failure while looking risk in the eye.

  • Make your mind up: Framing your choices and diversifying your dice in the age of etoxic information.

  • Find your edge, own your narrative: No one does you, like you. Be your difference, it’s your most valuable asset.



Methods for thriving in uncertainty

Leadership is no longer about individual strength, but group strength. What does leadership look like today, when we’re facing complexity and challenges in every direction? Activate a distributed leadership model with the methods to help people operate out of their comfort zone, model inclusive culture, and sharpen their critical curiosity for the unknown.

Key takeaways:

  • Energy over time: As we build our stamina for change, managing energy rather than time becomes crucial.

  • Leading at the cutting edge: Getting comfortable being uncomfortable and starting before you’re ready with the “yes, and” improvisation method.

  • Critical curiosity: When opinions are currency and fake news is everywhere, how can we train ourselves to do the work required to hold an opinion?

  • Design for inclusion: Moving from polarisation to progress.



Owning the will and the way

The mastery of leadership lies within unlearning as quickly as we learn, thinking collectively and acting in the moment backed with the discipline of preparation and planning. How do we help our leaders sustain their own energy as well as momentum for change?

Key takeaways:

  • Unlearn, learn and relearn: growing others to grow ourselves when leadership requires a circular growth mindset.

  • Build your tribe: Inspire and empower followership to scale systemic change.

  • Preparation discipline: Get your goals in place and know when to get out or your own way.

  • Sustainable momentum: Bio empathy and the ability to work “on and in”.

Holly Ransom Bio

Holly Ransom is a globally renowned content curator, powerful speaker and master questioner with the belief that if you walk past it, you tell the world it’s okay. Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, she has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch and was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence in 2019. Having interviewed the likes of Barack ObamaMalcolm GladwellRichard Branson, Billie Jean-King, Condoleezza Rice, Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and the world's first humanoid robot Sophia, Holly fights complexity with curiosity, apathy with empowerment and fear with fact. As a Fulbright scholar and Harvard Kennedy School Class of ’21 fellow, Holly is a recipient of the prestigious Anne Wexler Public Policy Scholarship, allowing her to action social and economic inclusion by connecting people with the decisions that affect their lives. Soon to release her book The Leading Edge, Holly helps people harness their own potential to lead by asking better questions, thinking beyond biased answers and building collective momentum for change. In The Leading Edge, Holly brings the real-world leadership lessons of so many diverse thinkers and pioneers she’s met to the fore. Holly was identified early as a dynamic thought leader, asked to Co- Chair the G20 Youth Summit in 2014, the United Nations Coalition of Young Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, and becoming the youngest Director ever to be appointed to an Australian Football Club, the mighty Port Adelaide. Holly’s podcast ‘Coffee Pods’ was named in the top ten business podcasts to listen to by the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018, and Holly has been recognised as a LinkedIn Influencer and a credible content producer by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Herself an accomplished company director, Holly has compressed a power-packed career into a decade, spanning corporate, non-profit and public sectors. As founder and CEO of consulting firm Emergent, Holly has led real-world results with clients such as P&G, Microsoft, Virgin, Cisco and KPMG. Holly has also been a regular on the likes of  The Drum and QandA. As a proud champion for diversity and inclusion, Holly is Chair of Pride Cup Australia, a non-profit organisation (and movement) devoted to challenging LGBTI+ discrimination within sporting clubs - and make them welcoming and supportive environments for LGBTI participation and fans. A two-time ironwoman, Holly loves to cook, dance and sing... despite her complete lack of talent at all three. 




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