Following on from the success of Team Ireland at the World Gay Games in Paris last year, Sporting Pride, Ireland’s national LGBTQ+ sports organisation, has been established.
Sporting Pride is committed to making sport a more inclusive and diverse environment for members of the LGBTQ+ communities, and in doing so, promoting the well-known positive benefits of fitness and exercise to one’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Participation rates in sports amongst the LGBTQ+ communities are below the national average. Homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, societal pressure, and concerns around ‘coming out’ all contribute to a decline in participation amongst late teens and older LGBTQ+ people.
To improve participation rates, Sporting Pride is developing two-pronged connected approach:
- Promotion: Increase participation of the LGBTQ+ communities by supporting established LGBTQ+ sports clubs across the country, to increase visibility of available sports and services, and removing barriers by working with National Sports Governing Bodies to develop LGBTQ+ inclusive programmes for every sports club in Ireland.
- Competition: For those wanting to compete at national or international level, we will encourage athletes to join Team Ireland at the regular national or international LGBTQ+ friendly competitions taking place throughout the world. The EuroGames in Rome in July will offer athletes an opportunity to experience international competition and applications to join the Team are now open.
Team Ireland brought home over 40 medals, 13 gold, from last year’s World Gay Games in Paris, in sports such as badminton, swimming, running and cycling.