Canberra Cavalry co-owner Sunny Singh has experienced first-hand how tough it can be to navigate life and the sporting scene as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Using baseball as a platform, he is now driven to make it easier for others within the community facing the same predicaments.
“Sport has never been the most inviting environment for the LGBTQ+ community. We’ve moved forward in leaps and bounds over the past few years, but there’s still plenty we can be doing as an organisation to help all people feel welcome,” Sunny says.
Having played a lot of team sport, Sunny identifies the difficulties in navigating the locker room talk where diversity, especially the LGBTQ+ community, struggles to find a home.
Sunny says it weighed him down at times.
“I played in plenty of teams growing up and always felt the need to keep my guard up. I’d worry that my teammates would see and treat me differently on the sole basis of my sexual orientation, when all you want to do is feel part of the team.”
Sunny is an emerging leader in the strong LGBTQ+ business community in Canberra. In his role as a co-owner of the Canberra Cavalry team in the Australian Baseball League, and as the Club’s General Manager of Sales, Marketing and Operations, he has the ability to be a force in initiating change.
“Our sport is always going to have that public perception of being masculine and blokey, which is great. But it’s important we emphasise that our sport has a place for everyone, irrespective of race, sexuality and gender.”
With this in mind, the Canberra Cavalry will stage the ABL’s first official Pride Night on 17 January when the team faces the Auckland Tuatara at the MIT Ballpark in Narrabundah.
Sunny extends the invitation to attend this event to the broader ACT community.
“I would like to engage the wider LGBTQ+ community in sport, particularly with our involvement with the Cavalry and the CBR Brave.
“We are and always have been a community-based club, and our baseball community is made up of a diverse range of people. We have a duty to them to ensure that everybody feels welcome, whether it be players, administrators or the fans walking through our gates.”
The Pride Night will have the theme of inclusiveness. The Cavalry will host members and supporters from the LGBTQ+ community and the team will wear special jerseys and hats to mark the occasion.
One proud member of the Canberra LGBTQ+ business community who will be in the stands is Cavalry sponsor Thomas Hathaway from Thomas Hathaway Real Estate.
By his own admission, Thomas had little knowledge of baseball, nor the Cavalry, prior to coming on board as a sponsor at the start of the season. Thomas says, “ We are a small company and as such sponsorship is a big thing for us. We were looking for a sponsorship opportunity where our values are aligned”.
Thomas is now a convert, rarely missing a home game. “I love it. It’s a great club. There’s a lot of camaraderie in the stands; they really put on a fun show”.
As a member of Canberra’s LGBTQ+ community, Thomas is keen for others to experience the inclusiveness of the Cavalry, so much so he is the game sponsor for the Pride Night.
“It’s great to see the Canberra Cavalry put it out there; I jumped at the chance to back them in their support for the LGBTQ+ community.”
The Cavalry have led the way in the Australian Baseball League in promoting inclusiveness and diversity this season with games highlighting the Indigenous and Canadian communities.
The hope is that the Pride Night on 17 January is adopted, not just by the ABL, but also by the wider sporting community.