Three years ago, a rainbow lit up AGL Loy Yang’s large 110m cooling tower in support of the first ever Gippsland Pride Cup.
Since then the message of inclusion has spread throughout Gippsland. The passion for diversity and the acceptance of all has grown, and this week the 40,000km2 region east of Melbourne celebrated the third Gippsland Pride Cup event.
As major sponsors of the North Gippsland Football and Netball League (NGFNL), AGL Loy Yang approached AFL Gippsland and NGFNL in 2017 about the concept of holding a Gippsland Pride Cup.
NGFNL president David Kyle was immediately receptive of the idea – but also accepted it would take hard work. There was a high level of support for the event – but others who were hesitant.
AGL joined a working group with the NGFNL, and collaborated with other organisations like Latrobe Regional Health, to organise the region’s first Pride Cup. The NGFNL held education sessions across the region with national Pride Cup founder and Yarra Glen footballer Jason Ball, the second male Australian rules football player at any level to publicly come out in the national media.