For the first time, the annual NWPL Pride Cup will be played in Brisbane during Round Seven of the National Water Polo League (NWPL). This year the Brisbane Barracudas will host local rivals, the Queensland Breakers at Valley Pool on Saturday, 25th February.
The inaugural Pride Cup, played in Melbourne last year between the Victorian Seals and Queensland Breakers, was hailed a success and included a game between Australia’s longest-running LGBTI-inclusive water polo clubs, Melbourne Surge and Sydney Stingers.
Ahead of the NWPL Pride Cup clash, an All-Stars Pride Shield match will take place. The Brisbane Tritons, Melbourne Surge, Sydney Stingers along with one development team member from the Brisbane Barracudas and Queensland Breakers will form two All-Stars teams to play for the newly created Pride Shield.
“Being able to host the Pride Cup and the Pride Shield is a huge honour for us, especially because we are such a young club. Having all three LGBTI-inclusive teams in the pool with the national league players in the All Stars game helps to break down barriers and stereotypes in sport and is something that all five clubs are extremely proud of.” said Jeremy Archer, President of the Brisbane Tritons.
To celebrate diversity and inclusion in Water Polo, the Valley Pool will be transformed. Supporters will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment and food offers throughout the evening. The home team and parent club of the Tritons, the Brisbane Barracudas, will hope the extra crowd support will help their teams to victory.
“As an elite sporting club, we are proud of our involvement with the Brisbane Tritons. We want to create a safe, fun and inclusive environment for all those who want to play our sport and the best way to do this is to lead by example.” said Tycho Buningh, President of the Brisbane Barracudas.
Working closely with the Brisbane Tritons and the Brisbane Barracudas, Water Polo Queensland strongly supported the move to bring the Pride Cup to Brisbane to help promote the game and diversity within the sport. The Pride Cup forms part of the overall strategy to make Queensland the home of Water Polo in Australia.
“As a sport, especially an Olympic sport, we want to represent the entire community. We are proud that we have two fantastic clubs, the Brisbane Tritons and Brisbane Barracudas, who work tirelessly within the LGBTI community to promote our sport and provide a safe, fun, social environment for people to get fit and healthy. Being able to host a national event, such as the NWPL Pride Cup, is a great credit to both teams and provides us with a national platform to celebrate our diversity.” said Water Polo Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Robert Donaghue.
The Pride Cup festivities start from 4.00 pm on Saturday, 25th February at Valley Pool. The Pride Cup matches are scheduled to start at 5.00 pm, with the All Stars Pride Shield game starting at 6.30 pm. Tickets will be available to purchase at the door for $10. All matches will be broadcast live via Water Polo Australia’s Facebook page.