On your marks – get set to celebrate LGBT sporting history

Sports organisers will join hundreds of LGBT community organisers at Twickenham rugby stadium on Tue 2 Nov, to make plans for the biggest ever Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History Month, throughout February 2011.

The ground breaking theme for 2011 and 2012 will be sport, and the month aims to raise the profile of LGBT sportspeople past and present, as well as tackling homophobia and transphobia in sport.

The ‘Pre Launch’ event aims to educate sports organisers about LGBT participation and empower them to organise activities which celebrate the diversity of LGBT people at all levels of the UK’s sporting community.

The event will also include the third National LGBT Sports Summit, which will bring together LGBT and mainstream sports organisers to discuss the latest issues in LGBT sports development, whilst representatives from national governing bodies of sport can also take part in a workshop on growing and sustaining LGBT participation.

An important feature of the History Month Pre-Launch is the opportunity it provides for organisations to share experiences and tips on how to organise successful events. All those involved in organising sport, from grass roots to professional clubs, are invited to the afternoon sessions on best practice.

The highlight of the evening presentation will be a celebrity sports panel discussion, which will include sporting legends Gareth Thomas and John Amaechi, both of whom have recently become patrons of LGBT History Month, alongside Claire Harvey who has recently represented Great Britain in the Sitting Volleyball World Championships.

Throughout the day, participants will have the opportunity to meet stallholders in the exhibition area, for more information and practical resources to help them organise events in February.

Co-chair Tony Fenwick said:

“Sport is an exciting challenge for us and we are pleased to be working with Pride Sports, the UK’s leading LGBT Sports Equity organisation, to deliver our Pre-Launch event.

“Sport plays a key role in society, yet there are few visible LGBT sportspeople. Many gay & bisexual men are intimidated by the macho culture of sport and are excluded from an early age and yet everyone has the right to feel valued playing sport.

“We hope that raising the profile of LGBT participation in sport will provoke discussion and enable more people to be comfortable and visible in their clubs.

“We’ve got some great resources on our website, to help schools, sports clubs and community groups to organise events.

“Rugby has one of the toughest images of any sport and we’re honoured to have the home of England Rugby as the venue for this event and to have rugby legend Gareth Thomas as one of our guest speakers.”


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