17 teams competed for victory in the biggest ever Gay Sports Day, cheered on by a packed crowd of supporters. The event, organised by GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT), took place in Vauxhall Spring Gardens on Bank Holiday Monday. Contestants displayed their sporting prowess in events such as the drag relay, the egg and spoon race and the 50m mince, helping to raise vital money for gay men’s health and the local community.
Competition was fierce on the day, with ‘The Misfits’ crowned winners of the sporting events. ‘The Flying Fingernails’ were the top fundraisers, thanks to their amazing efforts to bring in over £1,900 from sponsorship, while ‘Flob-a-Dobs’ won best costume for their Flower-inspired outfits.
Rugby star Gareth Thomas gave his support to this year’s event, donating a Welsh training top, a pair of Welsh Rugby shorts and a Crusaders polo shirt, all worn and signed by the man himself.
Gareth said, “I am absolutely delighted to be supporting this year’s GMFA/RVT Gay Sports Day. It’s a fantastic community event with a long tradition of bringing smiles to people’s faces and a bit of sport to their lives. Best of luck to all the competitors and I would encourage everyone to donate generously to support the important work of GMFA and the other charities benefiting from the day. Watch out for an auction item donated by me and have a fantastic day.”
Other auction prizes include an Official Team GB Suitcase, a pair of made to measure CHAPS from Expectations, VIP tickets to the MAD Trust’s West End Bares event and a professtional photoshoot by Pics By Gaz. The auction raised £1,350. The full total raised from the event is still to be confirmed as donations are still being counted. All money raised will go towards GMFA, Vauxhall City Farm, and The Friends of Spring Gardens.
Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, commented: “Many thanks to everyone for making the day such a huge success – it was another stonking Sports Day. We had more teams than ever before and they all made a huge effort, both with their outfits and their amazing fundraising efforts. In 2012 we’ll be competing with some other major sporting event, and so we promise that the Sports Day is going to be even bigger and more spectacular.”
GMFA would like to thank Gareth Thomas for his support and all of the individuals and organisations which so generously donated prizes for the raffle and the auction; everyone at the RVT; Timberlina for hosting the event; Bob Ballard, the BBC Olympic Sports Commentator, and Nick Heath for commentating; all the fabulous teams and their sponsors; Vauxhall City Farm for showing their animals; Friends of Spring Gardens for the use of the park; the two sports masseurs; and the GMFA volunteers for all their hard work on the day.
Hodson added, “The money we get from Sports Day helps us carry out our vital work for gay men, such as the Count Me In campaign. In this harsh economic climate, the money we get from fundraising events such as this can make a huge difference.”