Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Auckland business group supporting funding for Blake Skjellerup 2014 Olympic bid

From GayNZ.com:

The Gay Auckland Business Association's Charitable Trust has launched a campaign to help out speed skater and passionate queer youth advocate Blake Skjellerup get to the next Winter Olympics.

The 25-year-old is on a mission to bring gold home from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He is currently ranked 18th in the world. "At the Olympics I finished 16th," he told a GABA meeting last night.

"That was my goal, where I said I wanted to get at my first Olympics. The next Olympics in Sochi, I'm setting that goal just slightly a bit higher, probably about 15 places higher - that would be the ideal situation."

New Zealand's high performance sport funding body SPARC does not make any contributions to speed skating. "It's a minority sport so it's understandable," Skjellerup said. "It's just not the greatest, ideal situation for me."

GABA's Trust is now facilitating fundraising to get the nation's only out professional sportsman to the biggest event on his sport's world stage and Chair Gresham Bradley says it's in it for the long term, "We believe that Blake can get there and do us all proud. So this is an opportunity for us to really put our money where our mouth is."

Bradley says GABA will be pursuing the question of why SPARC does not support or fund speed skating. "The fact that we're now forming really good relationships with a couple of our local MPs, both Nikki Kaye and Jacinda Ardern, will not hurt. We will be asking those questions – why is Blake not being supported by SPARC when he's number 18 in the world," he says.

"He skated at the Vancouver Olympics. He's now going on to get to the next Olympics. And it's a long, hard path. He is an out, gay, proud young man. Wherever he goes he goes and talks to young people about being out and proud and gay ... we are struggling to find ways of supporting him. And we have found a solution; that is to look to the community, both here and around the world."

Skjellerup says the support is fantastic and while he finds it difficult asking people for money, it's vital for him to achieve his goal. "I think it's great that I have such great community support from all of you and people all over the world. There's only a handful, a handful of out athletes. And I know an even greater handful of people who don't want to come out, for the very reasons I thought beforehand - that I couldn't be gay, couldn't be in sports, I'd be kicked off the team. I know this isn't true. And so I took it upon myself to share that message along with the other handful of Olympians in the world, that you can be out, you can be proud and you can be exactly who you are, whether you are straight or gay."

While he is based in Canada eight months of the year, in his current downtime at home the Olympian has been working with queer youth groups in New Zealand as a vocal ambassador for glbt young people, speaking at high schools against bullying. He was heavily involved in a Pink Shirt Day campaign to fight for greater recognition of queer youth issues, last week met with Prime Minister John Key to further that cause and this weekend will be a special guest at the Kazam queer youth hui in Auckland.

The GABA Charitable Trust has opened this special bank account please direct debit into ANZ 01-0249-0200374-02. You can also make a donation here www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/BlakeSkjellerrupforGold via credit card.

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