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.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Play the Games: Day 2

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

Day 2 of the conference began with a plenary session entitled "Chasing the White Elephants - Mega-events for the Public Good". The first speaker was football start Rai, whose talk had been rescheduled from the prevous day. My first observation is that he is tall and big. One of the particularities of Play the Games is that many of the speakers are former elite athletes, but even among this crowd, he stood out. He spoke on the contrast between the promise of Brazil's hosting of the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics, and the social and economic realities of the country.

Ian Nuttal (photo Play the Game)
The bulk of the session was devoted to an analysis of the impact of the construction of stadiums for mega events. In a word: they are almost all failures. The sanctioning bodies are able to demand these investments which burden cities and countries for decades, simply because they can. In a period when the IOC and others are proclaiming their commitment to "sustainable development", why do they continue to ignore the failure of sustainable economic development provoked by their absurd requirements for mega stadium white elephants?

Stefan Smanski (photo Play the Game)
Also in the session, a discussion of the economic impact of the 2012 Olympics, which will be meager. As an example, the majority of workers in the area of the future Olympic Park come not from the local boroughs, and not even from London, but from outside the city.

View Part 1 and Part 2.

Cornelia Rogall-Grothe (photo Play the Game)
During this session, the conference participants were greeted by Cornelia Rogall-Grothe, the Ministry of the Interior State Secretary in charge of sport.

Wilfried Lemke (photo Play the Game)
The afternoon opened with a plenary entitled "Fair Play, Fair Pay: How to create growth in grassroot sport". Among the speakers were Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General for sport for development and peace. He focused on the need for local support, lest a short-term program become a waste of money rather than a long-term investment in development by sport.

View Part 1 and Part 2

Annie Sugier
I then attended a workshop on "Gender in sport - a case of discrimination?" with a great talk by Annie Sugier about the exclusion of women from the Olympic teams of several Muslim countries, and the refusal of others to respect the Olympic Charter's ban on visible religious signs in sports competitions. Women athletes are forced, explicitly or implicitly, to wear head coverings, or full body coverings, in competition.

Anja Veum
Anja Veum of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports presented the guidelines developed to prevent sexual harrasment and violence, while Thomas Grant of the University of Idaho imagines a set of values other than the dominant masculine values of social order. What would sport based on feminine values like caring offer to all?

Marko Begovic
Marko Begovic spoke of the study he's managed on sport in Montenegro, which demonstrates the huge challenges to women's participation, beyond the more general difficulty of sport for all in the country.

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