The West Coast Eagles hosted a function for our inclusion partners the Perth Hornets and Pride Vic Park in round ten as part of the AFLW Pride Round celebrations, with members from both parties welcoming players onto the field in the guard of honour.

The function was visited by some well-known figures in the Eagles and AFL/AFLW community, with WAFL Captain Jackson Nelson, past-player Chad Morrison and AFLW pioneer Jan Cooper all showing their support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Perth Hornets President Ian Odlum praised the success of the pride function as part of the ongoing partnership between the Hornets and West Coast Eagles.

“Pride round is really important in terms of promoting inclusion in sport and the support that the Eagles and other clubs have shown for the community has been great,” he said.

“The opportunity for the Hornets to be involved in Pride Round has been good as well because our whole mission is to make AFL more inclusive.”

WAFL Captain and Community and Game Development Officer, Jackson Nelson, highlighted the impact AFLW Pride Round has on the broader community in how it signifies football as being an inclusive sport.

“To be able to host WA’s only LGBTQIA+ football team in the Hornets alongside our pride partners within the Town of Victoria Park on what is a significant round for the entire community is something the Club is really proud of,” he said.

“Making football more inclusive is something we’re really committed to doing at the West Coast Eagles, and this event was another opportunity for us to show our support.”

The pride celebrations didn’t stop there, as AFLW players Eleanor Hartill, Kellie Gibson and Belinda Smith attended Fairday at Hyde Park as part of the Perth Hornets stall.

“Fairday was just another really nice opportunity again for all of our community to come together and celebrate what we do and to have the Eagles there as our guests was very special. It makes everyone feel more included knowing that they’re there at those types of events,” Odlum said.

“To know that we’re partnered with a club that is willing to show support to our community and willing to learn and evolve at the same time, really means that not just the members of our club feel included, but also all those young kids that see their club supporting our community know that it’s something really positive.

“Just being able to change the lives of people who may not feel like they have a place in sport right now, and being able to say that both the Eagles and the Hornets have helped them feel more included is something we’re really proud of.”

Our support for the Perth Hornets, Pride Vic Park and the broader LGBTQIA+ are part of our ongoing mission to make football more diverse and inclusive, and the West Coast Eagles will continue to work alongside these partners to provide access to football to all people.