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Wednesday 14 April 2010

Single tournament will strengthen communities

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News, Features
By Daily News staff - 7th April 2010

The co-chair of the AsiaPacific Outgames believes the decision to host just one major global gay sports tournament from 2018 will bring more unity to gay sporting communities.

The Gay Games and Outgames have announce they will hold a single event following this year's Gay Games and the 2013 Outgames. A contract dispute over the planned Montreal Gay Games sparked a splinter group to form Outgames in 2003.  The two events have been run separately since.

The 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames will be held in Wellington in March next year. Co-chair David Hindley is welcoming the move to hold just one world event, saying people have been a bit confused by the two separate groups and would rather have one huge successful event.

"The benefit to New Zealand athletes is that we won't have a split of some people going to Gay Games, some going to Outgames, and some going to both. It will strengthen our communities and help us focus on a single event every four years."

Hindley says another positive is that both the Gay Games and Outgames are supportive of the idea of regional events continuing. He says there may be just one world event, but also regional events in areas such as the AsiaPacific and North America.

Online registration for the AsiaPacific Outgames opens on June 12, at The site already has the details for many of the 16 sports announced to date, some of the parties, and a number of arts and cultural activities.

Hindley says plans are going great, with teams overseas already getting organised for the trek down to New Zealand's capital.

"One Philippines group already has its own organisation and its own Facebook page. And in the next couple of months we will be announcing some big sponsors who have come onboard."

Hindley's co-chair Virginia Hopkins-Burns adds that over 25 swimmers from the Sydney club, Wett Ones, have already indicated their interest.

"With partners, friends and supporters, that's likely to mean 40 or 50 people will come to the Outgames just from that one club alone."

Melbourne's swimming club the Glamourheads will celebrate their 10th anniversary at the games.

The Outgames is a week of competition, a major human rights conference, visual and performing arts events and parties, to be held from Saturday 12 to Saturday 19 March 2011. It is expected to attract more than 1,500 participants from throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

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