Sydney are expected to ”forge ahead” with their home AFLW Pride Round celebrations, despite hesitation from the league.
The AFLW’s Pride round is set for round 10, meaning the Swans will have to play and celebrate against Fremantle, away from home and their fans.
But Sydney have locked in their round nine home match against Collingwood as their own Pride round, where they plan to paint the 50 metre arcs rainbow in celebration.
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Swans AFLW coach Scott Gowans remained strong that his club will hold a home pride event, as it is important to celebrate in front of their fans who can’t get interstate.
”Not everyone can travel over to Fremantle to celebrate and if we get to celebrate it twice, what’s wrong with that?” Gowans told The Age.
”It’s just something we’ve discussed internally and we just want the same opportunities as the men’s program has with the home Pride game.”
But Gowans says the AFL has essentially locked in only round 10 for Pride.
”That’s really it in a nutshell and the AFL, at this stage, are unhappy to allow us to have the arcs painted with the Pride colours,” Gowans said.
However, the league has confirmed the Swans can wear their Pride jumper every round of the season if they wish.
But for the Swans, who have won two games, including their first in their history and sit in 13th on the ladder, are eager to give back to their fans.
Sydney’s men’s side are the only team in the league that have been celebrating a Pride round annually with St Kilda since 2016.
”It gives us another marketing opportunity as well … I just don’t know why the pushback is happening,” said Gowans.
”We try to do what we can for the community because at the end of the day, it’s the community that supports us.
”Inclusiveness and diversity, that’s super-important to our value system and that’s why, I mean, it’s not just the marketing opportunity. It’s the right thing to do in our view.”
Gowans knows his side will fully embrace their round nine initiative.
”We’re going to celebrate it and do what we can for our fans,” said Gowans.
”And we’d love the AFL to support it and allow us to paint the 50-metre lines and do whatever we can but if not, we’ll forge ahead and do what we can to celebrate something that’s really dear to us.”