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.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Play the Game: Day 1

Find the Play the Game 2011 website with more information, photos, video, program, etc. HERE.

Heading to first plenary
Among the highlights (from my point of view) of Monday's opening session:

Doris Pack, a member of the European Parliament, welcomed participants. Ms Pack has been a leader in efforts to expand the role of the European Union in sport.

Researchers presented the results of the International Sports Press Survey 2011, and the need for further reseach. Among the (unsurprising) findings are the lack of women writers of sports stories (8%), the dominance of men among athletes featured (85%), and the dominance of football.

Hans Bruyninckx (photo Play the Game)
I particularly enjoyed a provocative talk by Hans Bruyninckx on "Obsession with rules vs. mistrust in being ruled" which highlights a problem close to my heart: the insistence by the undemocratic sports institutions that they are a power unto themselves, not subject to the rule of law of elected governments, while working hand in hand with autocratic regimes.

Richard Pound
Richard Pound of the IOC and founding president of WADA, then spoke on the fight against corruption... but his dollop of realism wasn't enough to respond to Bruyninckx's critique.

View Part 1 and Part 2.

Break dancing
Students from the university offered a break dance performance during the welcome reception. I must note the great work by the 85 students of the German Sports University who volunteered with great energy, efficiency, and friendliness during the conference. Many of them had volunteered at Gay Games VIII, and those who had arrived too late to do so expressed regret at missing this opportunity which has marked the student body.

(photo Play the Game)
In the evening, I attended the workshop on doping prevention, which was rather disappointing, but illustrative of some of the opportunities and challenges. Among the opportunities was an innovative pilot program for doping prevention among youth, and a talk by John Gleaves on integrating treatment as a key component in anti-doping efforts. More disappointing was a talk from a researcher from the German Sports University on a pedagogical program against "doping", which demonstrates the creep of the term "doping" to the use of sustances on the WADA list for any purpose whatsoever, including anorexia, body dysmorphia, or simply a desire to improve ones appearance. While efforts to improve children's self-confidence to better enable them to resist the appeal of dangerous substances are great, it seems dangerous to allow sports doping, and the invasive practices invovled in fighting it, to englobe such broad areas of non-sporting life.

View the session HERE.

No comments: