A community-led festival of sport, with a lasting impact: London bids for the EuroGames® in 2025
Out for Sport is very excited to be launching our bid for London to host the EuroGames® 2025.
London’s LGBT+ sports clubs have been competing in vast numbers in international LGBT+ tournaments for many years. We have enjoyed the hospitality of other cities and witnessed the benefits which the event brings to host clubs, host nations and…most importantly…to the participants.
We know the feeling that you get from taking part in the best LGBT+ tournaments – a feeling of being part of a bigger movement, but held in a safe and friendly space. The chance not just to compete, but to have unique, fun and life-changing experiences. To leave walking taller than before.
That’s why we’re shaping our bid around three values:
- A community led games – A EuroGames led by London’s inclusive sports teams and community groups, who have the experience and knowledge to deliver an outstanding event for all participants.
- A fun festival spirit – A EuroGames which brings us together across just a handful of lively, friendly, festival-style sites, ensuring that every participant feels part of the experience.
- A real legacy – A EuroGames that leaves a legacy of its own for every participant. New friendships. New networks. New skills learned in the times between competition. Not just taking home inspiration, but also the tools to grow and transform LGBT+ sport back home.
And that’s also why were shaping our bid around just three venues in East London:
- The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park & Lee Valley Regional Park;
- Redbridge Sports & Leisure, in Fairlop; and
- The Royal Docks.
We want as many sports as possible to be clustered together. Because it’s not just about the sport.
Sure, come for the swimming or badminton, in world-class venues designed for the 2012 Olympics. But make the most of the time between your matches. In open workshops on inclusion or social media, watching other sports, at cultural events, or just a friendly pub space.
So we’re excited and bursting with ideas, but we can’t do this alone. Luckily we don’t need to…we’re in one of the most diverse cities in the world, packed full of talented queer people…so if you’d like to help out, send us a message on Insta, Twitter, Facebook or at London.firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the upheaval of the past couple of years, Out for Sport’s clubs are keener than ever to show that London is everyone’s city, and to welcome the world to our home.
Alex Davis & Matthew Hill
Co-Chairs (London Eurogames 2025 Bid Organising Committee)
- For more information, or to volunteer your support, please contact email@example.com or send us a message on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
- The EuroGames® is a European multi-sport event governed by the EGLSF (European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation). It is the largest multi-sport event for athletes, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation in Europe. For more details, visit www.eglsf.info
- The London 2025 Bid Committee is being led by Out for Sport. Our Committee of volunteers is drawn from our London’s LGBT+ community sports clubs, cultural organisations and community groups. We are grateful for the support of London & Partners, the Greater London Authority and our proposed sports venues in putting together our bid.
- Out for Sport is the umbrella body for London’s LGBT+ grassroots sports clubs, whose 52 member clubs represent more than 30 sports and activities, with thousands of members. They cover everything from golf and cricket to line dancing and synchronised swimming. Some of our clubs have been going for 30+ years, while the newest started during the last year. For more information, see outforsport.com .
Leviathen Hendricks – RIP
We are very sad to share that Leviathen Hendricks has passed away
A long standing committee member of Out For Sport, many of you will have known Leviathen, and with good reason. He devoted so much of his energy to supporting LGBT+ sports initiatives over many years – the Gay Football Supporters Network and League, East End Phoenix FC, the Federation of Gay Games, the European Gay & Lesbian Sports Federation, the London 2018 Gay Games bid, to name just a few.
And of course, Out For Sport. For a decade or more, Leviathen was a fixture of OFS, always ready to lean in. He held a number of different committee roles over the years, and if you didn’t meet him at an Assembly then you may have met him helping out with the annual sports fair, officiating at a sports day in Clapham, or flying the flag for London at international tournaments and conferences. Wherever you met him, I’m sure he left a lasting impression, he was never a wallflower!
While those close to him will have known about his health issues, he never let them hold him back. He gave generously of his time and energy even when not feeling the best.
He was a loyal friend, fearless spokesperson for equality and remains an ambassador for LGBT+ sport in London and beyond. We will miss him.
“Leviathen was a loyal member of our committee, attending meetings regularly, always the first to suggest a drink afterwards. I will miss his cheeky questions and persistent passion to make us more inclusive. A drink with Leviathen was always fun!” Vicki Carter Co Chair OFS
Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.
Highlights of our 2021 Sport Awards
For the full results check out the Awards main page.
Out For Sport Wins Award!
We are delighted to show off our new winner banner.
Thank you Gay Games for the recognition
We also received the following from the Federation of Gay Games:
Big congratulations to Out For Sport for receiving the FGG 2020 Outstanding Member Award. OFS has been a consistent and supportive thought partner to FGG and is well deserving of this accolade.
After hosting our first entirely virtual AGA to great success, thoughts are already turning to the 2021 AGA which will take place in Hong Kong in November. We’re really excited to be there and are looking forward to many of our members joining us there in person, should COVID and travel restrictions allow.
We are aware that there are concerns about traveling to Hong Kong based on health, safety and political reasons and I want to assure everyone that, as of today, FGG and GGHK 2022 remain committed to bringing Gay Games 11 to Hong Kong in 2022 from 11th to 19th November. Registrations open in March 2021 so bookmark that!
FGG with the GGHK 2022 team, has put several mechanisms in place to keep people informed about current status and to allay fears. I highly encourage everyone to attend the monthly webinars hosted by the GGHK 2022 team which details progress and answers questions related to what the experience will be like for visiting Games’ participants and spectators. January’s webinar can be accessed here https://youtu.be/XUe4n-WMl1c
In addition, our newsletter, Participate!, will go monthly from now until the Games in 2022, and always contains updates about the development progress of the Games. It’s important to remember that homosexuality is not illegal in Hong Kong, and while there, we are free to be who we are while, of course, respecting the traditions of the country – as we would expect Gay Games visitors to do wherever the Games was held. You can subscribe to Participate here https://gaygames.org/page-18059
We know that the politics of Hong Kong are a factor in people’s attendance considerations. What I will say is that our determination for Gay Games 11 to go ahead in Hong Kong in no way means we are aligned with the policies of our host nation. FGG is a non-political organization and in no way endorses the policies of any host country.
We look forward to welcoming many members to the AGA in Hong Kong to show our presence and to embrace the city that we anticipate hosting a truly spectacular Games!
Sport Fair 2019
Want to get back into sport? Or to take up a new one? Or just looking to meet new people?
Come and meet some of the 40+ LGBT+ sports clubs in London, hear more about what they do and where they train, and how you can get involved. There are opportunities for people of all abilities, for total beginners, and for both casual and competitive sports.
You don’t need to register to come along, but if you’d like an e-mail reminder closer to the day, and more details on the clubs attending, then please sign up to the Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-out-for-sport-lgbt-sport…
There will be an open bar for the whole of the event, and feel free to bring your friends!
Out For Sport are hosting The LGBT+ Sports Fair in partnership with SONET @ London Southbank University. We will be joined by more than 25 of London’s friendliest LGBT+ Sport Clubs sharing information on their membership and events, plus representation from Pride in London, and the Federation of Gay Games (Hong Kong 2022).
See you there!
The OFS Committee / London South Bank University
Remember that time we had a good luck message from the Prime Minister?!
Ahead of the Gay Games in Paris last year, Prime Minister Theresa May sent all of those representing the UK a message of good luck.
We haven’t been able to share this for a while but we now have permission, so have a read of the full letter below:
On behalf of the whole United Kingdom, I would like to wish all of you the very best of luck for the 10th Gay Games.
You are an inspiration for the LGBT community and, for that, you should be extremely proud – just as the whole country is proud to have you representing us in Paris this week.
Download the whole letter here: pm-message-gay-games
Report Back on: Disability and Inclusion Training
We had a fun and interactive training evening on Wednesday 23rd January.
Michelle Weltman (pictured, on the left) Paralympic swimming coach and Head Coach at Out To Swim led a session which challenged our assumptions on physical disabilities. We discussed how to be welcoming as a club, terminology to use and best practice in communication. Her presentation is attached
Dimitri Spiliotis who is a counselling psychologist who works at Barts with a specialism in HIV and sexual health then led a session on mental health. The session helped us to understand different mental health conditions and we discussed how it might feel to have a condition and how we might best be able to be welcoming as a club.
Paris Gay Games Awards
From an awards ceremony on August 23rd at G-A-Y late, awards were presented by Joanie Evans Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games
Which TEAM was the ‘Monster Team’? (and why)
Winner: Out to Swim
For winning swimming top team with twice as many points as the second placeteam, by having Waterpolo, Synchro and Open Water teams and for being a great mix of ages and genders, by great team spirit, by being frankly fabulous.
- Team LGBT+ We finally someone looked like a united group!
Which TEAM was the most eye catching? (and why)
Winner: UKSSDC & Pink Dancers (Dancesport)
For their amazing costumes; beautifully creative outfits with floats, sequins, diamanté, tassels & all! Pink Dancers in the Showdance competition – 1950s Parisienne – were fantastic.
- London Orca & London Otters Who got plenty of votes from thirsty gays on account of their kits.
- London Frontrunners: For their rainbow Tri suits
Which TEAM was the most supportive? (and why)
Winner: London Otters Rowing Club
Loudly cheered on every other teams’ boat. They also supported organisers before and after the competition to rig boats and de-rig boats that were supplied by the organisation.
- Village Manchester football club Adopting a stray athlete under their wing for the games
- Ishigaki ju jitsu For supporting colleagues from all over the world
- Out Play Squash team Small but solid
Which INDIVIDUAL gave the most outstanding performance? (and why)
- Andrew Benson Swimmer who won 8 golds from 8 individual and relay events
- Elizabeth Bellinger Swimmer who competed in the women’s 40-45 age group and SMASHED a number of IGLA records. Her 100m butterfly was truly exceptional. She swam it in 1min 6 seconds which is RAPID by any standards.
- James Wilson Winning gold in rowing and gold in squash.
- Handidance couple Paula And Gary
- Luke Busby Taking home 3 golds and a bronze in the rowing
Which INDIVIDUAL achieved the most impressive personal best? or completed the most impressive personal journey? (and why)
Winner: Graham Ashwell:
Dancesport; he ran the 10k, then danced winning 3 golds & Bronze, then ran his first marathon raising over £1200 for charities
- Donna Donovan Won silver and bronze. Both her hockey matches went down to shuffles to decide and she saved all but one
- Brian Hicks Entered as many ju jitsu events as he could and volunteered to become a judge for the first time. He came home with a silver medal which he is so proud of at 58 years old
Which INDIVIDUAL gave the prettiest performance?
(Interpret that as you will!)
Winner: Alan from Jujitsu (can’t find a surname)
In ju jitsu when he revealed his pink sequinned gui top performing a martial arts kata to
‘this is me’ the whole venue exploded and cheered.
- Michal Litke & Mariusz Staniewiez Dancesport: Became Vice World Champions in Ballroom, standard dance in a stunning blue outfit with peacock decoration, peacock feather bowties & diamanté on their shoes.
- Alessandro Tridico For his graceful fencing (I think)
- Dan Westley Such a Graceful Hockey player for a bigger guy!
Who deserves the Ivan Bussens Award for slogging their guts out behind the scenes? (and why)
Winner: Peter Meager
For all his work with Out for Sport, and working with the organisers of the Dancesport event & being compere for the four long days of competition and keeping his cool.
- Christophe Donot For Out To Swim- he organised almost everything- accomodation, accreditation collection, directed the winning Pink Flamingo performance and even competed in individual/relay events with a fractured rib- dedication!
- Alex Jones of LORC for organising and managing the trip for nearly 80 LORC members.
- Ollie James-Parr Arranged transport, accommodation, meals, a cool box for everyone from the Titans; utter legend
Which individual OR team made the most notable cultural faux pas? (and why)
Winner: London Royals
For their derelict fancy dress, which left very little to the imagination and drew gasps of horror and admirations from passing Parisiens and tourists on the Left Bank.
Which UK participant/team was the star of the most ridiculous photo?
Winner: Alex Carington Triathlon. For choosing the most photogenic moment to fall off his bike during dismount
- Penny Johnson Dancesport: ‘lippy’ – 48 degrees, in full outfit, makeup & ice towel; trying to keep cool & look good!
- Mitch Stride From Royals Hockey wearing a lovely long blue dress
- Christophe and OTS Team After winning the Pink Flamingo. And it was far far far more wonderful and fabulous than “Ridiculous”
Out For Sport Training Events
With funding from London Sport we ran three training events for member clubs
Recruiting Women to your Team
Monday 4th December 18:30 to 21:30 at House of Sport
With Heather Smith from Women in Sport
19 people registered to attend and 11 made it to the event.
Women In Sport did a great presentation which was well received.
Matt Hill presented about the Hockey Women and how they managed to recruit for their teams. We had interesting discussions.
For a Web report on the Women’s event see here
We did a quick survey monkey afterwards to ask for feedback most questions getting 5 out of 5. Below are some quotes from the survey.
“More than useful I would have called it encouraging, as to continue further, and reassuring, as in knowing that one is moving forwards in the right direction”
“Hugely useful. I left with lots of ideas and wouldn’t have done so if it wasn’t for the informative presentation.”
“The session was informative and insightful, and it was great to hear experiences from other clubs and discuss openly as a group potential issues.”
Marketing your Club
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 from 18:30 to 21:30
At London First offices | 4th Floor, Middlesex House | Cleveland St | W1T 4JE London
With Svend Elkjaer Director of Sports Marketing Network
14 people registered and again 11 people attended
The presentation was interesting, if perhaps a bit too long for us. The discussion section was very lively with some good ideas about getting your club noticed. Thames Dragons revealed themselves to have some top ideas, ideas such as a special Breast Cancer awareness event – as paddling is very good for recovery from surgery.
Income Generation for your club
Monday 26th March 2018 from 18:30 to 21:30
At House of Sport.
With Xander Beck a consultant on finance and funding
18 people registered and 14 people attended
Xander’s presentation, which ran through how to decide what money you need and then where to look for funding sources was very interesting and people asked a lot of questions.
Kings Cross Steelers did a presentation on how they had fundraised in the past and this was also well received and lead into a general discussion about raising money.
We plan to carry on and run more training events in the future which might cover topics such as Data protection and Good Governance. Bringing the clubs together to learn about good practice, debate issues and learn from other similar clubs is a excellent way to develop relationships between the clubs.
New queer community sports club – Netball & Rounders
CALLING ALL SPORTY QUEERS – Starting this summer a new queer community sports club will be organising weekly rounders or netball sessions in north London for £1 a session!
Full details can be found in the flyer to the right. Queerballers also have a Facebook page.
Out For Sport LGBT+ Sports Fair 2018
We recently held another successful LGBT+ Sports Fair in partnership with London South Bank University.
The curse of Friday the 13th might have played mischief with the sound system, but that didn’t dampen the atmosphere as more than 300 people packed out the LSBU Student Centre to meet the 25 clubs. The party kept going until midnight, so hopefully many of you found new sports, new friends, or new connections with other teams.
There were also some great suggestions for what we might do to build some ‘Team LGBT+’ spirit ahead of the Gay Games in Paris, whether we should do a similar event aimed specifically at women, and how to make the most of our Out & Active program for older people.
For those of you who couldn’t join us at the fair, you can find all the LGBT+ sports club websites here.
Out To Swim Summer Boat Party
Out To Swim invites all London LGBT+ sports clubs to join them at their summer boat party! Three decks of extravaganza eleganza, drinks and dancing. Casting off from Tower Pier, the party boat will head up river to the Tate before cruising down to the Cutty Sark and back again, all under the musical stylings of our onboard DJ. Each ticket includes admission, a welcome drink and further 1 x drinks token* that can be exchanged at the bar.
So renew that appetite for Aperol, dust off your best vest and join us for the hottest LGBT+ sports social event of the summer!
Friday 1st June 2018
Location: Tower Pier
Closest Tubes: Bank or Tower Hill
Time: 8:30pm – 1am (cast off 9pm)
Age Restriction: 18+
Please note: The boat party will not be stopping until reaching final destination at 1am. There will not be any opportunity to alight en route.
Our Unsung Heroine: Vicki Carter, OFS Co-Chair
Our glorious leader, Vicki Carter has been recognised by LEAD as an Unsung Heroine – part of their campaign to mark International Women’s Day 2018 by celebrating those women who go above and beyond to help others without being asked. Click below to read a bit more about why Vicki was nominated.
Vicki also recently took part in the 1000 Londoners project during a workshop at London Sport, and talks about how she got into LGBT sport originally…and recalls her first Gay Games in New York in 1994 and what that meant to her. Well worth a watch here.
Well done and thank you to Vicki, and to all the women keeping LGBT sport clubs surging forward.