Bringing in over 1000 athletes to the city of Frankfurt, the XMAS Sports Tournament has become one the biggest annual LGBTI Multi-Sport events in Europe. Hosted by the Frankfurter Volleyball Verein (Frankfurt Volleyball Club) this year’s event did not disappoint. With a diverse range of sports offered including Badminton, Bowling, Football (Soccer), Swimming, Squash, Tennis, Volleyball and the 5K/10K RainbowRun along with various social events, parties and a Gay/Lesbian themed city tour. The event is definitely a highlight for Gay and Lesbian Sports during the Holiday Season.
The RainbowRun is more than just a run, it’s a statement. According to the RainbowRun registration website, “We want to send a colorful signal against homophobia in sport and for an open and tolerant society.” The event attracts amateur and professional runners alike, fighting homophobia in sports.
Part of the XMAS Tournament includes an extensive outreach program. Gay and Lesbians in Eastern Europe face higher levels of discrimination and homophobia, in addition to more oppressive anti-gay laws. It is much more difficult for gay and lesbian people in Eastern Europe to live openly and safely. The XMAS Tournament hosts an outreach program to sponsor athletes from Eastern Europe in a show of true “European solidarity” to “facilitate an open and fun gathering of athletes, free of borders.”
With the end of the 2018 season for LGBTI sports, we are excited to see what 2019 holds for us!
By Dirk Smith