Many LGBTIQ+ people are disengaged from sport and recreation, as these environments have not kept up with societal change.
Empower LGBTIQ+ people in Australia to lead active and healthy lifestyles.
Seek to enhance the opportunities for LGBTIQ+ communities to lead active and healthy lifestyles in affirming and inclusive environments through the power of sport and recreation.
Who we are.
Proud 2 Play focuses on increasing LGBTIQ+ engagement in sport, exercise and active recreation. To do this, we work with all levels of the sporting community, from individual participants and grassroots communities, to state and national sporting organisations. We seek to encourage LGBTIQ+ people (as well as their allies, friends and families) to participate and engage in sport and exercise by providing structured opportunities and pathways for them to do so. Engagement is not limited to just actively participating in sport; the physical, mental and social benefits of sport should be experienced by active participants, volunteers, coaches and officials.
For anyone who ever thought there was no place for them in sporting environments, we are here to show you there is.
Our aims and objectives.
Increase and improve knowledge and understanding of LGBTIQ+ communities in the Sport and Recreation sector
Re-engaging and introducing LGBTIQ+ communities into sport and recreation
Connecting and recognising communities and stakeholders through celebratory events and promotions
Meet the team.
Chief Executive Officer
Christine is the CEO of Proud 2 Play. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge of working in the sporting, not for profit, and government sectors across different continents. With a passion for sport development, Christine has spent most of her career working with marginalised communities. She has spent time working with Bushmen and street vendors for the Big Issue Namibia, at risk youth whilst coordinating the Street Games in Liverpool, England, and has worked across the inclusion sector in Australia with the Centre for Multicultural Youth and most recently in local government in an inclusion and participation role.
Ryan is the Co-Founder of Proud 2 Play inc. He completed his PhD from Victoria University in Melbourne in 2017, and his thesis explored how community sport volunteers engage with diversity work. He is a lecturer and Academic Course Advisor at Western Sydney University, and his research focuses on diversity within sport, with a specific focus on LGBTI+ inclusion in sport. He has led numerous research projects over the past five years, and these have included evaluations and projects which have explored how Australian sports organisations enact and engage with LGBTI+ inclusion.
Lauren Foote is an inclusion consultant, exercise physiologist, roller derby player and ambassador for the Change our Game program. Lauren uses she/they pronouns and has recently joined the team at Proud to Play to drive forward LGBTIQ inclusion in sport. Lauren has a wealth of experience engaging marginalised groups in physical activity in both clinical and community settings and has a strong interest in leveling the playing field for women in sport. Lauren is a world champion roller derby player for the Victorian Roller Derby league and enjoys speaking about her experience in sport, and driving change for the future. Lauren lives and works on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.
Julie has had a lifelong involvement in sport. Competing in a wide variety of sports, ranging from Athletics to Sailing, Vigoro to Volleyball but her first love was and remains, the world game, football. Her playing career started in NSW in 1979. Since then she has been involved in all aspects of the game as an administrator, board member at club level, FV Standing Committee Member, referee, active tragic football spectator, coach and Football Victoria coach educator.
Julie holds a BAppSc in Coaching and Sport Administration as well as a Diploma in Business (Governance). She is also a director for Women’s Football advocacy group Women Onside.
In her ‘other’ life, Julie works in the Cards Payment industry and has over 20 years experience in service delivery and project management. Julie is an avid believer that sport forms an integral part of health and wellbeing, and as such sport needs to be diverse and inclusive for all of society, she is very pleased to be working to support the aims of Proud 2 Play.
Julie is currently a goal keeper coach for community football and nowhere near fit enough to be an asset to her futsal team mates.
General Board Member
Hamish is a member of the Richmond Rowing Club and was a gold medalist in the 2020 Nagambie Regatta. His love of rowing began in Denmark while studying cyber security policy at Copenhagen University.
After working as a TV News producer, he moved into the education sector, working in government affairs for PROJECT ROCKIT, and now at Teach For Australia (TFA). In 2020, he was the cofounder of TFA’s parent company’s Pride Network leading an executive team which spans across the US, Peru, India and Cambodia.
In 2021, Hamish was appointed a member of the Ormond College Association board providing strategic advice on alumni engagement.
Helen Tyrikos is a passionate Sports Administrator that has experience in all areas of football from grassroots to the national level. Helen has developed programs and curriculum that have enabled the participation of women and girls across all areas of the game including players, coaches, referees, administrators and board members. She is well known in the football community and wider sport community as an advocate of women in sport.
Her recent experience working in the Diversity and Inclusion space at Football Victoria and her relationships with Government Agencies will add to the value of the team. Helen joined the proud 2 Play Board to ensure everyone has access to the benefits that sport provides.
Andy has been involved with football since his junior days, playing in Tasmania with South Hobart. Soon after his debut in senior football in Tasmania, Andy made the jump to Victoria, where after 6 months with South Melbourne, he was asked to trial and sign with Newcastle Jets in the A- League. Since his stint in the A- League, Andy has moved back to Melbourne and is currently playing with Hume City in the NPL along with studying psychology at Deakin University.
In May 2019, working closely with the PFA, Andy made his sexuality public, stating in an Instagram post that he was gay. Since his announcement, Andy has looked to visibly promote inclusivity and diversity in sport, by being open about the struggles of being gay and playing professional sport in a masculine environment. Working with Proud 2 Play, Andy has a strong desire to continue to support the LGBTI+ community, making sport more inclusive for all.
General Board Member
Bowie Stover is a strong advocate for the trans and gender diverse community. Bowie is new to the Proud 2 Play board. We are excited to have them on board and more information will be added here soon.