As we reported last week, the AfroGames are the first ever LGBTI oriented multi-sport event organized by Africans, for Africans on the African Continent. The sporting events took place December 8th and 9th and the AfroGames concluded on December 10th with a symposium “Decolonizing LGBTI Rights.”
After years of struggles in organizing the event, most notably the lack of funds and unable to find sponsorship. The AfroGames finally got underway and off to a resounding start. With athletes representing from Uganda, Nigeria, and South Africa. Over 100 participants took part in the 3-day festival. Despite a bit of rain affecting the Netball tournament, the games went smoothly, and the symposium created a lot of very productive discussion.
Sporting events included Touch Rugby, Soccer, Netball, Squash and Track Events including the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. For Rugby, Soccer and Netball, clinics on “how to play” were offered to novice athletes who wanted to take part but needed a bit of guidance first.
In addition to the sporting events and symposium, the AfroGames included Opening Ceremonies as well as some fabulous parties to celebrate not just the event, but the community in general. Co-Founder Hlengiwe and her team with KZN LGBT Recreation, in addition to support from Shamey Cramer and Kate Rowe, pulled off a successful first edition of what is a great future for LGBTI Sports in Africa.
The next AfroGames is scheduled to take place in 2020, although a host city has not been selected yet, the planning has already begun. If you are interested in learning more about the AfroGames or sponsoring the event, find more information at http://www.afrogames.org.za/
By Dirk Smith