In partnering with the Sydney Swans, UNSW Sport & Arc Sport invited 500 lucky students to last night's AFL’s Pride Round matchup between the Swans and St Kilda. In support of the LGBTQI+ community we were able to create an unforgettable experience that exemplified the vibrant spirit of UNSW's sporting community. There were rainbow flags, banners, and giant cardboard cut outs of Swans players heads – everything we needed to celebrate our proud LGBTQI+ community and the university’s core values. 

In an initiative set up in 2022 by UNSW & the Sydney Swans to promote inclusivity not only within sport but our greater community where we took 300 students to the Pride Round matchup, this year we boosted it to 500. Students were able to register with Arc Sport to get their tickets with the allocations being exhausted within days of opening. Each student, repping their bright yellow UNSW beanies, meeting at the Roundhouse for a quick bite before heading out to the game, and ready to watch, for some, their first ever AFL game – excitement levels were high and there was a real buzz within the stadium.  

Although the Swans were unable to take home the win it was still an extraordinary evening for students and staff. UNSW's participation in this event showcasing its support for the LGBTQI+ community and its commitment to creating an inclusive sporting environment. By uniting students, fostering this strong partnership with the Sydney Swans, and championing the intersection of sport, mental health, and inclusivity, UNSW will continue to strive to eliminate discrimination and the social stigma towards the LGBTQ+ community, and promote mutual recognition, respect, and reconciliation in Australia. The Pride Round reminded us of all of the ongoing work required to build a society that celebrates and embraces diversity – we are still not where we need to be, but last night was another stride in the right direction.

Check out the Sydney Swans TV recap on this incredible evening here.