Inclusivity is at the centre of the new Adelaide Football Club AFLW Pride guernsey, specially designed to be worn in the inaugural AFLW Pride Round.
The AFLW Pride Round, which be held in Round Two of the AFLW season, recognises and supports the LGBTIQ+ community by celebrating inclusiveness, gender diversity and welcoming all people.
The special design sees the rainbow flag woven seamlessly into the centre of the guernsey design, reflecting how LGBTIQ+ fans are a core part of the Adelaide Football Club community.
Adelaide will wear the Pride guernsey when they take on GWS Giants at Blacktown International Sports Park on Sunday, 7 February at 4:40pm ACST in their rescheduled Round Two match.
Crows AFLW captain Chelsea Randall hopes the guernsey and Pride Round will send a message of inclusion to all AFLW fans.
“The Adelaide Football Club’s vision is to bring people together to achieve great things, and I think this Pride Round is continuing to create that legacy,” Randall said.
“I feel so honoured and proud that I get to wear this Pride guernsey and play in a game that shares the awareness that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, there is a place for you at our Club.
“For people to have a sense of belonging and that they are welcomed and supported, that’s all that anyone wants.”
Long-time Club member Brett McAloney founded the Rainbow Crows Supporter Group in 2017, after seeing similar supporter groups at other AFL clubs.
The group now has over 100 financial members, who organise events, fundraising, group ticketing options, travel to interstate games and work closely with other support groups, including the Official Crows Supporter Group.
Brett said the visibility of the guernsey will mean a lot to LGBTIQ+ supporters.
“The Pride Round means so much to me as an individual, but after talking to so many other people in our group about the impact it has had on them, that is what really makes it for me,” McAloney said.
“There are still many people at home who are struggling with their identity or have family members or friends who are struggling with their identity. There are still people who lose their family.
“That visibility is essential for those people to know it is okay to be who you are – in fact it is more than okay, we should celebrate difference.
“People feel proud to be part of it, they feel included and they love our game even more – at the end of the day, that’s what we want.”
Megan Harris was awarded 2019 AFL Fans Association Fan of the Year for their incredible commitment and volunteer work with the Crows Supporters Group and the Rainbow Crows, and hopes this game tells fans who have previously felt unwelcome that there is a place for them in football.
“Football can be quite an intimidating place to go for someone in our community,” Harris said.
“I can’t explain how much it means to me and how much it means to others in the community to see not only the girls, but the Crows and the AFL getting behind our community and showing their support.
“Seeing the girls run out on the Oval wearing their Pride guernsey is going to be a little bit emotional. It is just going to mean the world.”
Fans can secure their own AFLW Pride guernsey now at CROWmania West Lakes.