‘You play the way you train’ is a common phrase in sport, and Gippsland clubs are adopting a similar approach when it comes to fostering a culture of equality and respect.

More than 4000 Gippslanders took a stand against family violence by participating in this year’s Winter Orange Round, with 15 clubs across East Gippsland, Wellington, Latrobe, Baw Baw, and Bass Coast hosting 11 education sessions and 17 game day events between July 15-30.

Players and officials at participating soccer, tennis, netball, hockey, and Australian football clubs learned the pivotal role sports clubs can play in family violence prevention and demonstrated their commitment by wearing orange armbands on game day.

Expressions of interest are now open for Summer Orange Round, with project partners GippSport, Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault (GCASA), and Gippsland Women’s Health (GWH) gearing up to deliver more education sessions and facilitate more conversations on game days across the region.

GippSport Gender Equity Project Officer Kathleen Denny said the motivation for most clubs to host an Orange Round was to ‘get everyone on the same page about gender equity’ and ‘to learn how their club can be more welcoming for women and girls’.

“The key outcome from the educational sessions has been an increased knowledge of Gippsland’s family violence statistics and local support services,” Denny said.

“Participants have also gained confidence in understanding the relationship between gender equity and family violence and these positive outcomes are vital for our education and awareness campaign as police across Gippsland receive more callouts for family violence than the majority of Victoria.”

Each Orange Round is tailored to meet individual club needs and support their progress toward gender equality.

Typically, an Orange Round comprises three components, an online information session for representatives from all Orange Round host clubs, an in-club education session and a game day event where players show their support by wearing orange tape to champion the cause of reventing violence against women and girls.

Conceived in 2015 for senior sports clubs, Orange Round has evolved and with the support of funding from Sport and Recreation Victoria, a Junior Orange Round package is now available. This youth-focussed education session emphasises concepts like fairness, respect, and equality, using age-appropriate language and activities, tested with young people. It aligns with the implementation of Child Safe Standards in clubs, and the associated resources ensure parents and coaches feel confident to continue these vital conversations at home and within the club.

Summer Orange Round will run from November 25 to December 10, aligning with the United Nations’ annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. There is flexibility to accommodate alternative dates in December, February and March, as well as further training such as Active Bystander in Sport and gender audits.

Expressions of Interest are now being accepted via wkf.ms/46z6vj5

For all sporting codes and registration for the November 16 online information session is available at tinyurl.com/OnlineInfoOR

For more information, email GippSport’s Gender Equity Project Officer, Kathleen Denny, at kathleen@gippsport.com.au or phone 0455 997 795.

If you, or someone you know, needs assistance:

• In an emergency, call 000;

• 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732;

• Safe Steps: 1800 015 188, or;

• Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault: 1800 806 292 or 5134 3922.