AO Press Release, January 14, 2022
Australian Open 2022 is set to showcase inclusion and diversity with the launch of the very first AO Pride Day on Monday 24 January.
Designed to be a joyful celebration of the diverse LGBTQ+ community, AO Pride Day promises to be both an uplifting and educational day for AO fans onsite and everyone watching in Australia and around the world.
AO Pride initiatives include:
· Pre-match entertainment on Rod Laver Arena featuring Jack Vidgen performing You will Be Found from the hit musical movie Dear Evan Hansen
· Rod Laver Arena to be lit up at night in rainbow colours
· AO Pride Day breakfast, hosted by AO Official Outfitter Ralph Lauren, with guests including leaders of the LGBTQ+ community
· The AO Pride Hub at Court Three will be a place for people to find out more about LGBTQ+ inclusion, take a photo in the Pride themed space and get an AO Pride temporary tattoo.
· The unique, personal stories of prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community, including prominent researcher Dr Ryan Storr, Proud2Play CEO Christine Grainger, transgender community leader Michelle Sheppard, and Glam Slam founder Rowen D’Souza, feature in a new Pride Heroes video
· Pride-themed roving entertainment across the site, including musicians, Roller Derby and Drag Queens
· Glam Stations situated throughout the precinct with hair and makeup artists creating instant glam mini-makeovers
· Come and try sessions on the Western courts for the LGBTQ+ community. Supported by Transcend and Proud2Play, participants can have a hit on the courts before enjoying the rest of AO Pride Day.
· AO partners will also celebrate AO Pride with activations across the precinct, with special guests and social media activity to promote the day.
Recognised for his personal support and work in the LGBTQ+ communities over the years, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley believes AO Pride is another opportunity to showcase the inclusivity of both the AO 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.
“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.”
Tennis Australia’s inclusion and diversity team have worked with colleagues across the entire organization to make the day happen, along with a number of LGBTQ+ organisations including Pride Cup, Proud 2 Play and Pride in Sport to bring AO Pride Day, and the many tournament-wide activations, to life.
As well as AO Pride, AO22 has one other important initiative in the LGBTQ+ space in January:
THE AO GLAM SLAM PRESENTED BY RALPH LAUREN
For the first time Official Outfitter of the AO, Ralph Lauren, will present the AO Glam Slam, an LGBTQ+ tennis tournament that runs the second week of the Australian Open.
The AO Glam Slam presented by Ralph Lauren will culminate with the finals being held on the new Kia Arena on Sunday January 30 and is a ticketed event.
Renowned entertainer and artist Courtney Act will be the special MC on the day, with Australian band Client Liaison will perform.
“It will be a glamorous day of sport, cocktails and sequins, all the funs bits of tennis,” Act said.
Yo! Mafia will be the celebrity DJ.There will also be a celebrity match with participants announced before the Glam Slam.
The past few years the Glam Slam presented by Ralph Lauren has developed into an incredibly inspiring event, full of tennis, fun and inclusion.
Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster for the big day.