IN a touching initiative, the Muswellbrook Cats will play in their first ever Pride match, which encourages and celebrates diversity within the sport. The round was meant to go ahead earlier this season but the match was cancelled, however the club is still keen on the idea and it will now take place on Saturday, August 10. They will take on The Entrance Bateau Bay in both the Haval Black Diamond Plate and Haval women's competition, in a game that spreads the message of inclusiveness to the LGBTIQ community. It was a concept developed by Cats' treasurer and player Michael Duck, who spoke of the importance of the showdown and its meaning. "The club identified at the end of last year that we really wanted to be an inclusive club and accepting of everyone no matter of their background," he explained. "We thought there's a lot of people out there who might not see the club as an option for them if they're not knowing if we are accepting or not. "So, we wanted to come across with a strong viewpoint that we are one and anyone can come here and be themselves and play." The sentiment was similar from Cats' women's team vice-captain Samantha Rodriguez, who said it was an extra special initiative for some players in her side. "We're really proud of the club for deciding to do a pride round - and supporting particularly some of my teammates as well and letting them know we've got your back 100 per cent, you're part of the team, it doesn't matter who you are, where you come from or anything," she added. Major sponsors Aurizon and AGL are also pleased to be on board, believing it was crucial for people to know they could feel comfortable and at home on the field or in the workplace. "We're very proud to be co-sponsor for the Pride round here in Muswellbrook," said regional operations manager for Quirindi and Antiene Aurizon Derek Gibson. "We're committed to respectful and inclusive workplaces and believe all of our employees should be able to bring their whole selves to work. "This extends to our communities where people should be able to play football or attend football matches free of discrimination." AGL Macquarie general manager Len McLachlan echoed those thoughts as he made comments about the round. "At AGL we want everyone to feel safe, supported, to be respected and to be equally recognised for their contributions," he said. "This should extend to every aspect of people's lives including their chosen sports. "One of our values is 'inclusive of all' welcoming and encouraging diversity, respect and trust. "We also value safety, not just in the workplace environment but also people's mental health and feeling of security." The community is certainly scrambling to support the initiative, and the club is hoping to see as many people as possible at Weeraman Fields on Saturday, August 10, to watch the women play at noon and the men at 2 pm.