Athlete ambassadors encourage sport to Thrive with Pride

Fourteen athletes from 10 different sports are joining together as ambassadors for the inaugural AIS Thrive with Pride program, which aims to provide safe and inclusive sporting environments for all athletes to thrive.

Canoe Slalom paddler Noemie Fox says she is  proud to be working with the AIS Thrive with Pride program to increase the visibility and accessibility of LGBTIQ+ allies and to help build a culture of equality, understanding and acceptance in the Australian sporting landscape! Three-time Olympic water polo player Rowie Webster says she never been more motivated “to start the conversations I was too intimidated to start all those years ago.”

These are some of the experiences the ambassadors will be sharing with sporting communities as part of the Thrive with Pride program, which is being launched this year to enhance respectful, educated and inclusive communication in sporting environments. The AIS has also engaged the expertise of LGBTIQ+ and inclusion bodies Pride in Sport and Proud 2 Play.

AIS Acting CEO Matti Clements said the athlete ambassadors, which comprise LGBTIQ+ athletes and allies, were motivated to engage, educate and empower athletes at all levels to provide inclusive sporting environments.

“I want to thank these athlete ambassadors for putting their hands up to be the leaders for this program, because this has the potential to change lives and sporting environments for the better,” Clements said.

“They will be delivering presentations in sporting environments, endeavouring to build trust, foster change, promote inclusion and ensure every athlete across every sport has the opportunity to thrive as themselves.”

Canoe slalom athlete Noemie Fox is an ambassador and ally: “Having informed, vocal and visible LGBTIQ+ allies is key to developing inclusive environments within our sporting communities and empowering all athletes, staff and community members to be their authentic selves!”

More information on the program and stories from the 14 athlete ambassadors can be found here.

Thrive with Pride Ambassadors

Matthew Mitcham, Diving, NSW Institute of Sport

Rowie Webster, Water polo, Victorian Institute of Sport

Nikki Ayers, Rowing, ACT Academy of Sport

Alexandra Viney, Rowing, Victorian Institute of Sport

Kerrie Rosemond (nee Meares), Cycling, Queensland Academy of Sport

Gracie Elvin, Cycling, ACT Academy of Sport

Maria Strong, Athletics, Victorian Institute of Sport

Katerina Paul, Snow, Victorian Institute of Sport

Heath Thorpe, Gymnastics, NSW Institute of Sport

Noemie Fox, Paddle, NSW Institute of Sport

Sharni Williams, Rugby Sevens, NSW Institute of Sport

Dominic Clarke, Gymnastics, NSW Institute of Sport

Katrina Bateman, Rowing, Victorian Institute of Sport

Katarina Kowplos, Shooting, South Australian Sport Institute

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