Everyone is welcome at the football – that’s the message the Sydney Swans will be taking to the Mardi Gras this year.

The Swans are proud to announce the Club will take part in this year’s Mardi Gras Parade, in what’s believed to be the first float entered by a professional sporting team.

It follows Swans players and coaching staff taking part in the parade in recent years, joining athletes from other sporting codes to say no to homophobia in sport.

The entry coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Mardi Gras and follows the Swans hosting the first Pride Game in Sydney for premiership points in 2017.

Sydney Swans CEO and Managing Director Andrew Ireland said it’s exciting news.

“The 40th anniversary is a special year for the Mardi Gras and we’re really proud of being, we believe, the first professional sporting team to have a float in the Mardi Gras Parade,” Ireland said.

“LGBTI Pride is one of the four pillars of our Diversity Action Plan, which outlines our commitments to inclusion.

“We want to be an inclusive club and we want everyone to feel welcome at the football. It’s about making people feel welcome, safe and included.”

Sarina Jackson, chair of Sydney’s official LGBTI supporter group the Rainbow Swans, has welcomed the announcement.

“This is huge for our community and it’s huge for diversity,” Jackson said 

“The Swans are showing leadership, as they always have, and it just means so much to us as supporters.”