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.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Shamey Cramer reports on Saturday session of IOC Women and Sport conference

Shamey Cramer reports on the Saturday session of the IOC Women and Sport conference:

During the 'Sport, Peace and Development' session, it was noted from a delegate (not a panelist) that in various parts of the world, women athletes are targeted for rape in part because of the mentality that if a woman is strong or athletic they are a threat (although the key word, "lesbian", was never spoken!). Also mentioned was the situation of girls being forced into sexual situations with coaches.

Women remain the poor cousins in terms of sponsorship. Stephen Jordan of the US Chamber of Commerce noted that the US market for sports sponsorships is more than USD 9bn, and that the retail industry is worth USD 90bn. Some firms do support women athletes, such as:

- Intel focusing on women in sport internationally
- Tupperware is sponsoring both girls and boys programs in South Africa
- GlaxoSmithKlein is also offering plenty of sponsorship.

Martha and I were shocked that there was no specific mention of LGBT issues, even though it may have been skirted around in several instances, but I could see that lesbians, as a marginalized group (homosexuals) in a marginalized group (women) would be concerned about making themselves vulnerable. Even an icon like Billie Jean King never once mentioned her sexual orientation during her appearances at the conference. All this takes place in a context where many women feel the need to fight the stereotype that if you are a female athlete you're a lesbian.

The IOC always tries its best not to bring up anything too controversial. There were several instances where speakers such as Lord Coe of LOCOG were very cautious in their wording about Muslim athletes. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't have addressed the topic if it had been brought up in questioning from the floor by a delegate. Women from Kuwait, Latin America and the United States all brought up issues relevant to their cultures, as did a disabled archer, who was immediately introduced to the head of the international governing body for Archery. Panelists were extremely judicious with each response because of the large number of UN and government officials, as well as nearly twenty IOC members present, including HRH Prince Faisal al-Hussein, the younger brother to the King of Jordan and third in line to the throne.

And yet when the values of equality and freedom from religious and political interference in sport are part of the Olympic Charter, why should the IOC be afraid of speaking of such issues?

Read all our coverage of this conference HERE.

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