May 22, 2024

LGBTQ+: Cardiff becomes the first British city to host EuroGames

  • Written by Jennifer Jones
  • BBC News

Image source, Pride Sports Cymru

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Pride Sports Cymru said it looks forward to welcoming the EuroGames to Cardiff in 2027

The largest annual multi-sport event for the LGBTQ+ community in Europe will be held in Cardiff in 2027.

The Welsh capital will be the first British city to host the event euro games.

Organizers say the event was first held in 1992, in response to discrimination and to promote inclusion in the sport.

Pride Sports Cymru, the team behind the successful Cardiff bid, said it was a great opportunity to show that Wales has a welcoming culture.

They said they expected up to 10,000 athletes from across Europe to compete in venues across the city.

Duncan Cameron, chairman of Cardiff Lions, Wales' first openly gay and inclusive rugby union club, said raising the profile of inclusive sport was “a huge benefit”.

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The first EuroGames were held in The Hague in 1992, and the event in Cardiff three years later will be the 24th edition.

“One of the great things about EuroGames is that it's open to anyone, no matter who they are. No matter who you are, there's a place you can come and play,” he said.

“A lot of people don't know that there are rugby teams, all-round football teams or any of the other 30 sports that will be highlighted at the Games here… so it's a great opportunity for us to show what we can do on a national and global stage.”

Cardiff Red Kites, an inclusive badminton club for the LGBTQ+ community, will help host the badminton competitions.

Neil Roberts, of the Red Kites, said the club offered a “sense of community”.

“It has been proven that many people from the LGBTQ+ community face barriers when accessing sport, so clubs like this help people enjoy their sport and stay fit physically and mentally too,” he said.

He added that hosting the EuroGames will hopefully “establish a culture that sport is something everyone should enjoy regardless of who they are, who they love, their race or background.”

“This is what we want, and I really hope that the European Games will help reinforce that,” he added.

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Up to 10,000 competitors are expected to take part, and this will include some transgender athletes.

The Football Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board currently require transgender women to apply to compete in the female category and review their applications on a case-by-case basis.

The EuroGames Championship is run by the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation and is a “sport for all” event, meaning it is open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age and skill level.

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Charlotte Galloway said attending the EuroGames in Cardiff was a great opportunity to show that Wales has a truly inclusive sporting system

Charlotte Galloway, president of Cardiff Dragons, the first mixed-gender football club in Wales, said all athletes could compete as their “true selves”.

“People are allowed to identify with and play with their true gender,” she said.

“This means that trans women can play in the women's category and trans men can play in the men's category – I think it's really important that we are able to do that because there is no other competition of this size in Europe that allows gender diversity. – Cisgender people, trans people and non-cisgender people “The two duos compete in this way.”

“For us to be able to host these games and then provide that platform for inclusive sports here in Wales, and to some extent in the UK, it shows other clubs and other teams that sport is a place for trans and trans people,” she added. -Dual people.

“It also shows trans and non-binary people that sport is for them too.”

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Jess Williams said the EuroGames in Wales would be transformative for LGBTQ+ people in sport, and indeed society as a whole

As preparations began, thoughts began to turn toward what the tournament's legacy could be.

Jess Williams, who was part of the Pride Sports Cymru team behind the bid, said: “Beyond 2027, we hope this will increase the number of people from the LGBTQ+ community participating in sport in Wales.

“We really want to grow a network of LGBTQ+ leaders in Welsh sport, and a EuroGames event coming to Wales can certainly help be a catalyst for that and continued work in the years to come.”

EuroGames 2024 will be held in Vienna, Austria in July.

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