The first ever Pride Sports Festival last year was lucky enough to have former NRL, and out and proud gay man, Casey Conway in attendance. Conway was a hit with attendees, being a feature in our dunk tanks, cheering on players, and handing out awards. Now, with our bigger and better second Pride Sports Festival coming up in November this year, we're excited to announce that Conway will be returning for another year.
We’re sure that anyone who stays up to date with the LGBT sports scene is well aware of who Casey Conway is, but if not, we’ve got you covered. Casey Conway, an Aboriginal man, grew up in the small town of Bluff in central Queensland as one of five boys. He went to St. Brendan’s College, a boarding school in Yeppoon, which is renowned for its rugby program. It was here that he was scouted for the NRL team, the Sydney Roosters.
Conway joined the Sydney Rooster’s Jersey Flegg team (a part of the NRL’s National Youth Competition) and moved from his regional central Queensland town to Sydney. Here he was an up and comer in the rugby league, but also struggling with being uncertain about his sexuality. Here he explored Sydney’s gay scene and his sexuality.
However, after sustaining a shoulder injury in 2005 which forced him to retire from the NRL, Casey Conway came out as a proud, gay man.
Conway now devotes his time to youth work, activism and modelling. Conway promotes awareness for and is a role model for Aboriginal people who identify as LGBTQI+. In the past, he has called out racism in the LGBT community, reflecting on his experience as an Aboriginal man. He has had several roles in youth development work, and now is the manager of diversity and inclusion for the NRL. Conway also models for swimwear brands such as Sluggers and aussieBum.
Conway has always been a huge advocate for the abolition of homophobia in sports, previously participating in the #RainbowLaces campaign, where athletes wore rainbow shoelaces to show support for LGBT athletes. With last year’s Pride Sports Festival emerging in Perth, Conway flew all the way from Sydney to support the event.
Mark the date in your calendars, Pride Sports Festival is coming back on the 16th of November 2019. With Casey Conway returning to Perth once again for the event, you won’t want to miss catching a glimpse of a high-profile LGBT athlete!