Friday, April 19, 2024

Gay hockey player Davis Atkin aims to be ‘trailblazer’ in Australia

Young Kookaburra Davis Atkin says he wants to be a “trailblazer” as a role model and support for openly gay hockey players in Australia.

Atkin came out in April, when he was also named in Australia men’s under-21 squad, and is believed to be the country’s only gay player at national level.

Atkin will now look towards a berth in Australia’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia. The under-21 squad will be culled following next month’s Australian under-21 Championships.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who has been playing hockey since he was 14 after initially playing junior soccer, told the Canberra Times recently: “There’s no one in the national team in the men’s that I’m aware of that is openly gay.

“And there’s nothing wrong with that but that’s one of the main reasons for me at the moment. I want to be a trailblazer, I guess you could say.”

Atkin’s journey did hit a difficult patch last year when his psychologist accidentally told his coach that he was gay.

Atkin said: “2021 really was the craziest year of my life. Reflecting back, it was probably the worst year I have experienced so far mentally.

“The start of the year I was involved in an incident that changed my life outside of Instagram. I was in a pretty bad place for the majority of the year and struggled to pull myself out. It may not have seemed that way on here, but maybe one day I will share this with you all.”

He now wants to be a role model for others in the LGBT+ community.

Atkin added: “I want to be someone that people can look up to. Because I find it really hard to look at people and look at groups if there’s not someone like me and it’s really hard for me to materialise how I can get there. So moving forward I really want to be an inspiration.”

Atkin was last year named as a pride ambassador at Hockey ACT, which actively celebrates LGBTIQ+ diversity.

The Western Districts player has previously said that a love of makeup has given a sense of purpose off the field.

He said: “It’s almost like a relaxation thing, because I don’t have to worry about doing anything else. I’m doing something I love, and it’s just a place where I get to be myself. There’s no one else there looking at me. It’s just me and my phone.”

Follow Davis Atkin on Instagram

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