Thanks so much to the good people at SLSNSW who have written up a great article on our entry in this year's Sydney Mardi Gras. Thanks for the shout out and helping us spread the word on inclusion. Have a look at the piece, Lifesavers with Pride Push the Float Out including comments from SLSNSW CEO Steve Pearce and SLSNSW President George Shales, both of whom joined us in the parade.
Lifesavers with Pride were thrilled to be mentioned in Federal Parliament yesterday by the member for Wentworth, Dave Sharma MP, who came down and visited us last week. Find his release here, and his presentation here. Sorry, can't upload it as it's 160MB.
And thanks again to the MP for visiting us down at Tamarama SLSC during our rehearsals and providing some great words of support. If you need a hand with a routine for the parade, you know where to come.
Lifesavers with Pride took part in a panel discussion yesterday around the inclusion of Trans and Gender Diverse in sport, for Macquarie University's Equality Week. What a great bunch of people with such thoughtful and intelligent input. So inspiring to be around so many talented professionals.
Lifesavers with Pride have been shortlisted as finalists for two awards for the 2020 Pride in Sport Awards in April.
We have been nominated for the Inclusive Initiative Award for our work on the Proud Beaches project, which included the Forum held at SLSA in June 2019, the kit we sent to every surf club in Australia, the scholarships that we ran over the summer, and visiting the state SLS offices and attending the LGBTIQ fair days around the country. Other finalists include Tennis Australia's Glam Slam at the Australian Open, Cricket Australia's inclusion of trans and gender diverse people, and the Pride Cup Australia.
We have also been nominated for the Out Role Model award, identifying individuals within sport who are role models to other LGBTIQ sporting members, as well as to our straight competitors in an exemplary fashion. Other finalists in this field come from Melbourne Uni Sports, Roller Derby and Proud2Play.
The awards will be held on 01 April in Melbourne, and will also include the results of the Pride in Sport Index that SLSA and some of the states submitted. LWP look forward to the evening, along with SLS staff.
Over the course of the Mardi Gras rehearsals, Lifesavers with Pride were visited by a number of Members of Parliament, both State and Federal, and from across the political spectrum.
NSW State MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich visited us to wish us well in the parade, telling us about his initial involvement with the establishment of Lifesavers with Pride. He also mentioned that our choreography was far more complex than his parade entry, where he and City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore sit and wave to the crowds.
Federal Member for Wentworth, Dave Sharma MP came down to rehearsals at Tamarama SLSC as well and wished us well for the parade. He spoke about his commitment to the LGBTIQ cause and his passion of advancing this in the federal parliament. He also brought his young daughter along, who knew far more about our song track, and the artist than he did.
And the Federal Member for Kingsford Smith, Matt Thistlethwaite MP visited us before the Parade, at our final rehearsal in Moore Park. Matt is the former Club Captian of Maroubra SLSC, and is chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Life Saving, so he was very keen to show his support for Lifesavers with Pride and the work that we do in creating a more inclusive and proud surf life saving culture.
Lifesavers with Pride are passionate about promoting Surf Life Saving as being inclusive, progressive and welcoming to the LGBTIQ community. Last night we went straight to that community in the worlds largest LGBTIQ celebratory street parade, as the Principal Float, and performed our routine to "One Kiss" by Dua Lipa, including a stop at Taylor Square where we preformed it through completely in front of her, the cameras, judges and other VIPs. 80 very enthusiastic lifesavers from every state across Australia made sure that the LGBTIQ community could see that we are proud of our inclusive position, with red and yellow hand held sequined semaphore flags, the boys in yellow swimwear and the girls in red, plus with six huge lifesaver towers, one in each colour of the rainbow, being pushed along amongst the marchers. We included our signature move, with several push-ups to get the crowd excited, some swimming moves, fun dance steps and finished with 'one kiss' a mouth to mouth lifesaving technique. Check out our media coverage here.
It was also great to have the SLSNSW CEO Steve Pearce and President George Shales join us to carry the flags at the front, showing that support comes right from the very top.
What a great night, which was hugely successful, a lot of fun, and a great way to demonstrate Surf Life Saving's inclusive position.
Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) yesterday announced that they will be joining Pride in Sport. The Pride in Sport program is committed to further develop and enhance the inclusion of people with diverse sexualities and genders. Pride in Sport currently work with many of SLSA's sporting peers, such as AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, FFA and Rugby Australia. Lifesavers with Pride have been advocating for such a collaboration with both parties for some time and are thrilled with the announcement which will give SLSA access to experts in the field who can advise on areas around inclusion policies and programs for youth, competitors, volunteers, coaches, staff and the broader lifesaving community. They also oversee the Pride in Sport Index which allows sporting governing bodies at national and state levels to annually identify their position on LGBTIQ awareness against set milestones, plus they run the Pride in Sport awards, which recognise key contributions from around the country for individuals and groups who promote inclusive practices in a range of categories.
SLSA and Pride in Sport, as well as SLSNSW and SLS Sydney Branch joined Lifesavers with Pride at their final rehearsal for the Sydney Mardi Gras at Tamarama beach to make the announcement.
Lifesavers with Pride held their final rehearsal today down at Tamarama SLSC. After five intense rehearsals in the clubhouse where they refined their very exciting routine on the spot, this evening they progressed down to the beach and practiced the routine on the move. There was a lot of excitement on the beach from both marchers and onlookers who got a sneak peak at this Saturday's show. It was also revealed at today's rehearsal that Lifesavers with Pride have been announced as the Principal float in the parade and will be doing a special performance at Taylor Square, performing their routine live on air to artist Dua Lipa, with key moves including our signature push-ups, plus a special "one kiss" as her song is called, using mouth to mouth techniques.
Lifesavers with Pride had a great day on Sunday 16 February, at the Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day. Fair Day is a great opportunity for Surf Life Saving to get amongst the LGBTIQ community to promote itself as being progressive, welcoming and inclusive. So many keen people asking about their local clubs, surf sports, nippers, and volunteering. Plus a great chance for us to mix with our colleagues, both in the sporting space and the emergency services space.