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.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

G-Force seeks mentors for Athlete Buddy program

Athlete Buddy System Seeks Gay and Lesbian Athletes as Mentors
Hot Line Offers Help for Athletes Struggling with their Sexuality

DENVER (June 16, 2011) — The Athlete Buddy System, a program of GForce Sports, is putting out a call for gay and lesbian athletes and coaches who are willing to use their diverse experiences to help others. GForce and the ABS Program (pronounced “abz” like the muscle group) are looking for athletes who have played a sport, either individual or team, on a competitive level. Experience at the high school, college or pro level is expected; athletes who have experience in a “tour school” system—like tennis or golf—or within a farm or development system like junior hockey may also apply. Coaches that fit these categories are also welcome.

“The Athlete Buddy System offers a lifeline to athletes who are battling sexual identity issues,” says Michael Smith, director of the program. “Athletes must balance training, competition, school, work and a host of other issues. Imagine having to worry about who you are, what you say and whether you’ll be able to play the sport you love if you’re discovered. The ABS Program reaches out to those athletes.”

Given that gay people number between 5–8% in the general population, a hockey team of 22 players likely has one gay player; a football team of 53 players could have as many as 3–5. These players face anti-gay discourse and the constant fear of exposure with the resulting potential for bullying, loss of playing time or expulsion from teams. Uneasiness in their surrounding, detachment from their peers, depression, substance abuse and thoughts of suicide can be the by-products.

The Athlete Buddy System strives to provide a safe haven for these athletes where they can process their feelings and safely assess their situations with someone who will listen to and guide them. As our motto states: the GLBT athlete does not stand alone.

"Gays and lesbians have been part of every athletic team since sports began," says GForce President Glenn Witman. “There are athletes who need help with these issues and it’s time that we, as a society, recognize that. I’m proud that the Athlete Buddy System is at the forefront in providing that service.”

About the Athlete Buddy System

The Athlete Buddy System uses a toll-free hot line (855-646-1227) to connect athletes who are struggling with their sexuality to gay and lesbian athletes who have gone through those experiences. An intake coordinator fields all calls, assesses them and then matches the caller to a compatible athlete from our team. Our current list of mentors comprises athletes from many sports disciplines and demographics and draws from cities throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, go to www.athletebuddysystem.org.

About GForce Sports

GForce Sports breaks down negative stereotypes about gay athletes through competitive play and educational outreach. By demonstrating competitiveness, teamwork, pride and courage on the playing field, and relating our diverse stories and experiences as gay athletes off the field, we create a dialogue that changes the perceived differences between gay and straight athletes. Our advocacy focuses on education of athletes, particularly youth, through panel discussions and interactive Q&A sessions. We strive to create a sports landscape where athletes and coaches are judged by the possibilities of their talent and effort rather than their sexual orientation. More information, including a 7-minute documentary video on the GForce hockey team and three pages of resources, is available at www.gforcesports.org.

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