Australian Open 2022 will be celebrating its first ever AO Pride Day in a show of support and inclusion to LGTBQ+ players and fans.
The initiative, which is set to take over Australian Open courts on 24 January, will be followed by the AO Glam Slam, a LGBTQ+ tennis tournament, presented by Ralph Lauren in the second week of competition.
The day will see a number of activations, including glam stations throughout the precinct, pride activities hosted by AO partners and roving entertainment from musicians, roller derby and drag queens. Pre-match entertainment featuring a performance from Jack Vidgen will be seen at the Rod Laver Arena, which will be lit up in rainbow lights at night.
Other events of the day will include an AO Pride Day breakfast and the AO Pride Hub at court 3, where people will be able to learn more about LGBTQ+ inclusion and take photos in a pride-themed space.
The initiative has also given a platform to the experiences of prominent LGBTQ+ community members and importance of inclusion in Australian sport in a video created in the spirit of the day, titled pride heroes.
Tennis Australia CEO and director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley, has a history of supporting the LGTBQ+ community and hopes the event will showcase the inclusivity of the Australian Open and the sport of tennis.
“For many years we’ve hosted special events for the LGBTQ+ community, such as the international Glam Slam and our pre-AO Pride night, so bringing many of our initiatives together on AO Pride Day is the natural next step.” said Tiley. “I’m delighted we can all come together as a community to celebrate together on this special day, which I have no doubt will become a highly anticipated part of the AO every year.”
AO Pride Day will also kick off the annual Glam Slam tournament, which will this year be presented by the official outfitter of the Australian Open, Ralph Lauren. The tournament will culminate with finals being held at a ticketed event at the new Kia Arena on the 30th of January.
Australian LGBTQ+ icon and entertainer Courtney Act has been enlisted to MC the event, which will celebrate the diverse LGTBQ+ community.
“It will be a glamorous day of sport, cocktails and sequins, all the funs bits of tennis,” Act said.
The day will also see performances from Australian pop duo Client Liason and celebrity DJ Yo! Mafia, as well as a celebrity match, with participants to be announced closer to the event.