Team Sydney supports health, fitness and the sporting way within diverse LGBTIQ communities.
Bringing teams together.
SPORT IS a national pastime in Australia, whether you participate or spectate from the side-lines (or your sofa); whether you’re a hard-core supporter or a fair-weather follower; and whether you are gay or straight.
Team Sydney and its counterparts in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide support all gay-identified sporting clubs, flying the rainbow flag for gay sports lovers, players and the clubs they belong to.
President Stuart Mackay says the organisation works with teams, clubs, associations and individuals to grow and nurture membership and supporter bases. “We do this by connecting individuals with the clubs in our network and encouraging new clubs,” he says.
Recognising the importance of inclusivity, Team Sydney tackles homophobia in sport. “When and where appropriate, Team Sydney serves as influencer and enabler for inclusive sport to other clubs and individuals, organisations, government and the corporate sector,” says Mackay.
The highly visible and active member clubs of Team Sydney are fixtures at the big LGBTIQ events including the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade. It’s behind the Sports Village at Fair Day and various other sporting showcases like the Come And Try days held over summer by member clubs including the Sydney Rangers and the Flying Bats (soccer), Different Strokes (dragon boating) and the Sydney Outfielders (softball).
Team Sydney is also a regular presence at international LGBTIQ events, too, like the upcoming Gay Games, being held in Paris this year from August 4 to 12.
THE GAY GAMES: PARTICIPATION, INCLUSION AND PERSONAL BEST
The Gay Games is a world-class sport and cultural festival organised by the LGBTIQ community and hosted in a different city every four years. Everyone is welcome to compete in the Games, regardless of their sexual orientation, ability, gender, age or race, without the need to qualify. Its mission is all about participation, inclusion and personal best.
Founded by Tom Waddell, an American decathlete who competed at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, the Gay Games were intended to promote equality and build bridges between heterosexual and homosexual sports associations.
Like the Olympic Games, the Gay Games grew to incorporate ambitious social projects, a program of cultural events and an academic component.
The first Gay Games took place in San Francisco in 1982. In 1994, the Games were held in New York to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, attracting 10,864 athletes – compared to the 9,356 who took part in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Gay Games VI was held in Sydney in 2002. It was the first, and so far only, time the event has been hosted in the southern hemisphere. The most recent Games in Cleveland (USA) in 2014 saw over
8,800 individuals from 60 countries compete in 37 sport disciplines.
At least 15,000 participants are expected in Paris and you could be one of them.
GET OUT AND PLAY!
Sport enhances a healthy lifestyle, helps you make new friends, and link to your LGBTIQ community. There are 35 different LGBTIQ clubs in Sydney, representing all sorts of sports from AFL to wrestling. The Team Sydney website will help you find the one for you.
Follow “Team Sydney Sports” on Facebook or visit teamsydney.org.au and have a go! Watch these space for the up-coming June Sydney Sports Expo – where you can come along, have a chat and get a feel for what sport is right for you. Find your local team and get in the game.
MORE: Visit teamsydney.org.au or look for “Team Sydney Sports” on Facebook.
THE STINGERS (WATER POLO).
THE CONVICTS (RUGBY).
THE RANGERS (SOCCER).