Programme Notes for 21st Birthday Awards

See below for

Out For Sport – the mission

Who is Ivan Bussens?

Who were the judges?

Who is shortlisted?

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Out For Sport – the mission

Out For Sport was set up 21 years ago in 1998 by Ivan Bussens. You can see the history here.

The organisation acts as an umbrella for all the LGBT + sports groups across London and the South East. It brings them together for events, training and socials. It also represents the clubs on the board of the Federation of Gay Games.

The organisation has grown over the years and recent highlights have been: Leading the bid in 2012 to bring the Gay Games to London in 2018.

In 2017 we took over the running of the Annual London LGBT+ Sport Fair.

In 2017 members of both the OFS Committee & OFS Assembly met together to draw up a single vision which we felt best suited the organisation going forward. We believe that there are five key pillars that underpin our organisation and we have a five year strategy to help bring our organisation and our members closer to where we want to be with LGBT Sport in London.

Vision: ‘An Inclusive Community Where LGBT Sport Flourishes’

Five Pillars:

  • Creating stronger clubs
  • Bringing clubs together
  • Strengthening the voice of LGBT+ sport
  • Increasing participation in LGBT+ sport
  • Connecting LGBT+ clubs to the rest of the world

You can read our more detailed plan by clicking here

In 2018 we set up training events for clubs and launched Out & Active for our over 50 sportspeople.

Who is Ivan Bussens?

3 June 1960 – 27 August 2007

Ivan set up Out For Sport in 1998 after Gay Games in Amsterdam. The aim was to bring together London’s LGBT+ sports clubs and promote participation in sport amongst the LGBT+ community. Ivan was the driving force behind OFS, his aim to establish a grass roots organisation that could act as an umbrella group for the sports teams and help them grow. His vision, energy, passion and flair created an organisation that is still doing all of these things.

Ivan was a swimmer. He competed with Out To Swim both in races and in Water Polo at many competitions. He persuaded the OTS committee to sponsor a women-only session to encourage more participation, and saw the establishment via a lottery grant of a water polo team in 2000. He choreographed the Pink Flamingo for San Diego swim meet in 1997, on the theme of Diana Princess of Wales, which made the whole audience cry. He also served on the board of the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA). and was active in connecting OTS to the world of international LGBT + swimming. Please see here for a moving tribute from the chair of Out To Swim.

He was the key figure in raising the profile of LGBT+ sport in London, having co-founded OFS, he went on to also represent London at the Federation of Gay Games, and served at other international sporting associations such as The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation.

He represented London via the Federation of Gay Games. Before his illness he was forging links with the 2012 Olympics and the Mayor of London‘s office to ensure lesbian and gay inclusion.

Ivan was born at Batu Gaja, Malaysia, and educated at Culford School, Bury St Edmunds. Having moved to London, he became a fashion buyer, events planner and interior designer. The latter brought prominence with photographers and television companies, and the house he shared with his partner Peter Unsworth featured in magazines and in scenes from ITV’s Footballers’ Wives.

After fighting cancer during 2006, he suffered a relapse and died in hospital in summer 2007, aged 47. He is survived by Peter Unsworth his husband. His funeral took place in Norfolk, where his parents Alan and Cyndie lived, and where he is buried.

Who were the Judges?

Chair of Judging Panel

Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett – @Juvelad

Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett has been an active gay sportsman since moving to London in 2001, 18 years ago. Adrian joined the Irons Golf Society in 2004, as his first sporting activity since giving up sport in his early teenage years.  Adrian was one of the founding members of the UK LGBT Sports Network, and was the Political lead for the Bid for London to host the Gay Games in 2018.  

Adrian has continued his sporting action, by competing in subsequent Euro Games and Gay Games, in Antwerp, Barcelona, Rotterdam, Helsinki and Rome collecting Bronze in Antwerp and Gold in Rome. Adrian has also competed in the Gay Games in Cologne and last year in Paris. Along with playing golf, Adrian learnt to dance (ballroom/Latin) Same-Sex dancing since 2005 and competed in Antwerp and Cologne, runs 10km, plays football with London based LGBT+ and allies Soho FC, and after a mental health breakdown in 2016 took up Powerlifting and is now the General Secretary of LGBT Powerlifting Union, and has competed in the last two International competitions in London, and Blackpool winning silver medals both times in my weight/age category. 

Adrian, is also coopted on to the Out for Sports Committee as external support, has been a member of Pride In Football Committee for the Past three years and supports the LGBT Sports Media group to get coverage of LGBT sportspeople across all sporting arenas. 



Solomon Curtis – @Solomon_Curtis 

Solomon leads on communications and engagement in sport for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. He wrote and led on the Mayor’s strategy for sport in London and works with the Mayor’s Violence Reduction Unit to reduce violent crime in London through sport. He is a former Vice Chair of the British Youth Council and in the 2017 general election stood as the Labour Parliamentary Candidate in Brighton Pavilion. He has a background in campaigning for social justice and LGBT+/Race equality. 


Lou Englefield – @LouEnglefield

Lou Englefield is a founder and Director of Pride Sports and has been a leading voice on LGBT+ inclusion in sport for more than 15 years. 

Co-Chair of Pride House International, a board member of FARE, Europe’s anti-discrimination network in Football, Lou has also directed the international Football v Homophobia campaign since 2012.

Joanie Evans – @EvansJoanie

Hi…. I’m Joanie Evans…. Originally from Birmingham and moved to London in the late 80’s, when it wasn’t long before I came out and the start of my renewed love of sport.

My sport is Football and my first team was Hackney Women’s Football Club, where I have had many happy memories; mainly being the first ‘out’ team in Europe, our introduction and attendance at the 1994 Gay Games in New York.  I have now been to 7 Gay Games; two as Co-President.

I became the Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) in 2013, after the London 2018 bid to host the Gay Games, was won by Paris.  I felt honoured to have been asked and still feel I have more to give, even after serving 6 years in post.

Confirmation that I was making a difference for the LGBT+ sporting community came at the 2019 British LGBT Awards, where I was a top ten nominee for ‘Outstanding Contribution to LGBT+ Life’.

Jon Holmes – @jonboy79

Jon Holmes is Senior Home Page Editor at Sky Sports Digital, and the founder and lead of network and advocacy group Sports Media LGBT+. The group is raising awareness on LGBT+ inclusion in both the sports media industry and in sport in general, from grassroots to elite level, and aims to encourage more responsible reporting and coverage for the benefit of all LGBT+ people. Jon also co-ordinates and contributes content in support of Stonewall’s award-winning Rainbow Laces campaign for Sky Sports, which is a member of the TeamPride coalition of businesses and organisations.


Phil Smith – @philsm

As the Director of Sport, Phil Smith has responsibility for several areas of the Sport England business.  

His team manages long term investments of several hundred millions in various sporting bodies, and giving the subsequent advice to achieve results. The ultimate aim is to ‘transform lives through sport’, which means getting as many people as possible engaged in any sport and physical activity that works for them. 

Phil also leads the organisation’s work in talent development and performance, aiming to maintain England and Great Britain’s international sporting success, while making the talent system more accessible to potential athletes from all backgrounds. 

He has responsibility for Sport England’s workforce ambitions, helping the people who are the vital infrastructure of community sport – coaches, volunteers and club officials.

Phil joined Sport England in 2008 from The Football Association, where his professional career started after Euro ‘96 as the General Secretary of the County FA in Manchester. His football career took him through various roles in the game before becoming The FA’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, responsible for football industry policy in relation to Government in both the UK and international bodies. 


Natalie Washington – @Transsomething

Natalie Washington is a transgender woman and campaigner for trans rights, particularly around access to sports & treatment of trans issues by the media.  She’s a footballer for Rushmoor Community FC in the Hampshire County Women’s Football League & sits on the Hampshire FA’s Inclusion Action Group, as well as running a network for transgender people in sport. She’s also a Trustee of, and sits on the organising committee for Trans Pride Brighton, the UK’s first and biggest Trans Pride.


Michelle Weltman – @MichelleWeltman

I have been involved in inclusive sports development, coaching and event management for over 30 years across London. I have worked in local government, charity and the private sector on sports projects and events  I am also a coach educator and volunteer in sports. I am head coach of the biggest most successful LGBT+ swimming club in the country, Out to Swim, and have been for the past 13 years, but have been involved in the club for over 25 years. I have coached Paralympic swimmers and been a coach on the GB para swimming squad and currently work for London Marathon Events as their Para Athlete Lead. I am Chair of the London disability Swim Club and Access to Sports a small sports charity that provides sporting opportunities to under privileged young people in Islington, Haringey and Hackney.

And the nominees are…

Our fantastic judging panel met earlier this week (see below) to review all of your amazing nominations for the Out For Sport Awards, and they have managed to whittle them down to a just a few shortlisted nominees.

We’re delighted to announce that the following individuals, team and clubs have all been shortlisted for their respective awards and the winner will be announced on the night:

Club Spirit Award – celebrating role models:

  • Alex Carrington (London Frontrunners)
  • Daniel Nash (London Royals Hockey Club)
  • Ubaidul Rehman (Goslings London)

Outstanding Achievement – triumphing against the odds:

  • Hunter Charlton (Positive Strokes)
  • Emily Chong (London Frontrunners)

Unsung Hero – celebrating those working tirelessly behind the scenes:

  • Simon Davis (King’s Cross Steelers RFC)
  • Hilary Gerlis (Out To Swim)
  • Emily Chong (London Frontrunners)

Sportsperson of the Year – celebrating individual sporting achievements:

  • Olivia Poole (London Frontrunners)
  • Steph Ramsey (Out To Swim)

Lifetime Achievement – this very special award will be announced on the night

Team of the Year – celebrating team sporting achievement:

  • King’s Cross Steelers RFC
  • London Royals Hockey Club Women
  • Goslings London Badminton Club

Most Innovative Project – recognising creative project work:

  • South London Stags RFC
  • Out To Swim
  • LGBT Powerlifting Union

Most Inclusive Club – celebrating inclusive clubs:

  • LYC Badminton Club
  • Out To Swim
  • Goslings London Badminton Club

Emerging Club of the Year – celebrating new growth:

  • Spinder 
  • South London Stags RFC
  • KnockOut LGBT Boxing Club

Club of the Year – acknowledging excellence:

  • London Cruisers
  • Ishigaki Jujitsu
  • London Otters