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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kempton

More than Pride on the line in Falcons-Demons clash

West Perth president Dr Neale Fong says the Falcons are proud to be taking a lead in diversity and inclusion as they prepare to host the WAFL’s first Pride Game this weekend.

The club’s players and staff will undergo an education session facilitated by Pride WA before they take on Perth at Pentanet Stadium on Saturday, with other events planned across the weekend and players across all grades to wear rainbow socks.

Dr Fong told Sports Breakfast football should be a sport for all.

“Our board put together a diversity and inclusion plan at the beginning of this year, and basically what that means is our club as a whole … deal with the issues in our community of people with diverse backgrounds,” Dr Fong said.

“Part of that was recognising the need to embrace and at least understand and be aware of different people that have different sexual identities and gender identities.

“That was brought to the fore in particular when one of our former players in Danielle Laidely came to our club last year, she was embraced by all of us and we’re trying to understand her journey as we know there are people in our community struggling with those issues.”

Dr Fong said the initiative was similar to various multicultural rounds staged by the club over the years.

“We don’t have an agenda here to promote social change. Our idea here is to allow there to be education, awareness, and understanding of these issues that are in our community,” he said.

“There are so many different people, whether it be sexual identity or whether it be cultural or where you come from, we need to be inclusive.

“Acceptance and willingness to try and understand where people are at, footy’s got an important part to play in that. We’re trying to lead in that space.”

On the field, the follow-up season of the reigning premiers has been marred by inconsistency but they are still a chance to feature in the finals, currently sitting in sixth and two wins behind Peel Thunder in the last finals place.

“We haven’t forgotten about the fact that we’ve got to win this game on Saturday. Without winning that game, we’ve got no chance of progressing into that five,” Dr Fong said.

“We have to win every game. Perth won’t be an easy game to win.

“It was a great effort against Claremont two weeks ago, we were sensational. If we keep that form up, we’re a real worry to all the sides who are above us at the moment as we head into the final program.”

The clash between the Falcons and the Demons gets underway at 2:40pm on Saturday and is being broadcast live on 91.3 SportFM.

IMAGE: The West Australian.


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