RMIT Cycling Trailblazer Recognised at Pride in Sport Awards

RMIT Cycling Trailblazer Recognised at Pride in Sport Awards

RMIT Sport Inclusion Ambassador, Cycling Team Manager and UniSport Nationals Team Captain Alex Smyth was recently named as finalist for the 2023 Out Role Model of the Year award at the Pride in Sport Awards.

RMIT student Alex Smyth is a trailblazer in the Australian cycling community as an openly queer cyclist.  

He is aware of the lack of representation and the prevalence of traditionalism, machoism, misogyny, sexism, and homophobia in the sport.  

Despite the potential for backlash, he decided to compete as an openly queer cyclist and become a role model for others. 

Alex organised the first-ever pride round of cycling in Australia's history at the Carneige Caulfield Cycling Club in 2021, with the goal of making cycling a more inclusive sport.  

In 2022, Alex made history as the first openly queer cyclist to race in the UCI Road World Championships (Union Cycliste Internationale Road World Championships).  

His participation was a significant milestone for the sport, as he became the first male to be out publicly at an international cycling event. 

Alex's courageous efforts to challenge the homophobia and exclusion that exists within the cycling community have not gone unnoticed.  

He has been an ambassador for RMIT Sport and UniSport Australia, and his activism has sparked positive change.  

Alex's establishment of the pride round at Carneige Caulfield Cycling Club and his participation in the UCI Road World Championships have set an example for other LGBTQIA+ athletes to follow.

RMIT Sport Inclusion Ambassador Alex Smyth Alex was a finalist for this years' Out Role Model of the Year award.

This week, Alex attended the 2023 Pride in Sport Awards as a finalist for the ‘Out Role Model of the Year’ for his efforts in inclusion for LGBTQIA+ in Australian cycling and across all University sports.  

The sold-out awards ceremony recognised the outstanding achievements around the inclusion of people with diverse genders and sexualities in Australian sport.  

The event is highly regarded on the LGBTQIA+ Sporting calendar, with leading advocates, sports administrators, athletes, patrons and corporate supporters all attending. 

Alex Smyth during the week of celebration leading up to the awards, reflected on what it means to have support from allies of the LGBTQIA+ community in sport.  

Allyship is so important to me because I see the profound effect it has on the rainbow community.

"Turning up to competition and feeling comfortable in your surroundings is something that the majority take for granted, this is where allies of the community can absolutely transform the world for LGBTQIA+ people.”

Alex further encouraged more people within the RMIT community to educate themselves and be more proactive in the space to increase inclusiveness for all people in sport.

“Get inclusive, get to know why it’s important, and know that your acceptance and support will definitely help someone feel safe and welcome.” 

RMIT Sport Inclusion Ambassador Alex Smyth standing alongside Matthew Keenan. Alex Smyth and Matthew Keenan at the 2023 Pride in Sport Awards.

The support for Alex has been felt in communities beyond RMIT, Carneige and Caulfield with renowned international SBS cycling commentator Matthew Keenan throwing words of appreciation and recognition behind the Redbacks trailblazer.  

“In the battle for inclusivity, it takes a brave person to be the first one to stick their neck out. A genuine leader. Alex Smyth is that person in Australian cycling," he said.

"He organised the first Pride bike race in Australia and, importantly, reached out to the SBS Tour de France coverage to maximise the promotion of the event.” 

Matthew also acknowledged that Alex’s initiatives within RMIT have enriched his campaign for change.  

“Universities are seen by the community as places of research that lead to change for the better."

"Alex typifies this. He did the research to put on successful Pride events, which have become the template for the rest of the country, and in doing so has made the cycling community a better place for LGBTQIA+ people.” 

Learn more about inclusion at RMIT Sport

Story: Michael Serpell


RMIT Sport will continue to celebrate its LGBTQIA+ community at IDAHOBIT Sports Day on Wednesday 17 May.

Students and staff are invited to join RMIT Sport Clubs for an afternoon of social, inclusive sport to commemorate IDAHOBIT Day.

11 May 2023


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