Alexandria-based LGBTQ+ support group Rainbow Families has been chosen as a New South Wales winner in the 2021 Active Australia Innovation Challenge run by the Heart Foundation.
The challenge invited tertiary institutions, schools, councils and other organisations to submit innovative ideas for getting people in their communities moving. The winners will each get a grant of $10,000 to make their project a reality.
The Rainbow Families Sports Carnival Series will offer weekend carnivals in Sydney’s Inner West, Penrith and Macarthur, as well as Newcastle and the Illawarra, with a total of about 450 people expected to participate.
The Alexandria group conceived the carnival series because many members of the LGBTQ+ community have been discriminated against, bullied or harassed while playing sport. As a result, some do not feel comfortable doing mainstream sport or signing up their children for sport.
The carnivals will provide a fun, safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ parents and their families to get active together and try out different sports, such as cricket and tennis.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will give us the opportunity to bring our community of LGBTQ+ parents and their kids together in their local areas for a family fun day of sports carnival activities,” said Rainbow Families Executive Officer, Ashely Scott.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health, this year’s challenge awarded grants to 19 projects across Australia from twice the number of entries received in 2020.
Heart Foundation’s NSW & ACT Heart Health Manager, Anna Flynn said the Foundation was pleased with the increased participation, given around two-thirds of people in NSW are not active enough for good heart health.
“This is a real concern, because being inactive is a risk factor for heart disease, our state’s single leading cause of death.
“One reason for the spike in entries could be that the pandemic has sparked interest in physical activity at a grass-roots level. Being stuck at home for long periods is making everyone appreciate their communities more and think creatively about ways to stay healthy and active.”
Sign up to the newsletter to find out when the sports carnival is coming to your local area: https://www.rainbowfamilies.com.au/get_involved_signup