The Sydney Swans will once again play a part in the world’s biggest celebration of LGBTIQ pride, Mardi Gras 2019, in a joint initiative with Principal Partner, QBE.

The Swans this year became the first professional sporting club to have a float in the parade – the 40th year of the annual Mardi Gras event – when players, staff and supporters marched together as one. 

Now, for the second year in a row, the Swans will join hundreds of thousands of supporters as they celebrate LGBTIQ pride on the streets of Sydney in March 2019.

The Swans’ 2019 float will once again display the message, ‘Everyone is welcome at the football’, which has been made possible by the support of QBE and will see members of QBE’s internal LGBTIQ employee network, QBE Pride, and members of Sydney’s official supporter group, the Rainbow Swans, march proudly alongside one another.

Incoming Swans CEO Tom Harley says it’s important to be a part of Mardi Gras 2019.

“The Swans are extremely proud of our involvement with the LGBTIQ community and being a part of next year’s Mardi Gras will be a really important and memorable evening for all involved,” Harley said.

“Our annual Pride Game has been such a huge success and a crucial part of the Club’s calendar, and it will be once again a great occasion to host St Kilda in next year’s game at the SCG later in the season. 

“Our involvement in Mardi Gras 2019 has certainly been made possible through the support of QBE and we’d like to thank all involved for their efforts."

Sydney is scheduled to face GWS in a pre-season game on Saturday, March 2 – the same night as Mardi Gras – and all Swans players will be wearing rainbow socks in support of Mardi Gras 2019.

QBE Australia and New Zealand Chief HR Officer, Eleanor Debelle, says QBE is looking forward to showing its support for the LGBTIQ community in the insurer’s first appearance at Mardi Gras.  

“QBE is passionate about the positive impact an inclusive culture can have in our workplace and for our customers and partners. We’re proud to stand up and join hands with our long-standing partners, the Sydney Swans, to make our Mardi Gras debut next year, celebrating the importance of visible LGBTQI inclusion throughout the streets of Sydney. 

“Our QBE Pride employee network is looking forward to marching alongside the Rainbow Swans to mark this important occasion.”

Rainbow Swans Chair Sarina Jackson, who led the charge at this year’s parade, says it will be an honour to march in red and white again in 2019.

“We're really excited to be a part of Mardi Gras again next year. Our Rainbow Swans members had an amazing time sharing their passion for the Sydney Swans and reinforcing our commitment that ‘Everyone is welcome at the footy’,” Jackson said. 

“Next year will be special beyond all of the Mardi Gras activities as we'll be hosting the AFL Pride Round at the SCG again, working with the Club to make it even more amazing than this year.”

The Swans are currently in the running to claim a 2019 Australian LGBTIQ Awards honour. The Swans have been nominated under the sports category alongside nine other Australian people or organisations recognised for their enormous contribution to the LGBTIQ community. To vote for the Swans, please click here.