By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)
Following the end of the Annual General Assembly this October, IGLA, the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics announced their upcoming plans for the next IGLA Championships and future with the Gay Games.
The mission of IGLA is to “promote participation in aquatic sports among lesbian, gay men and friends of our community and to ensure maintenance of the highest standards for aquatic competitions and international standards for all Gay Games and IGLA Championships.”
The last IGLA Championship was held in early 2020 in Melbourne just before the pandemic hit with the 2021 Championships slated to be held in Salt Lake City but was unfortunately cancelled. Normally the IGLA Championship during Gay Games years is held as part of the Gay Games, but with the recent announcement of the 2022 Gay Games being postponed until 2023, IGLA is working to host a championship in 2022 and are currently working to make it happen, most likely in or around Palm Springs, CA.
With the Gay Games postponed to 2023, for the first time ever IGLA will host both an IGLA Championships and Gay Games event in the same year. The host of the 2023 Championships will be London as hosted by London’s LGBTQIA+ aquatic club, Out to Swim. This will be the first time the IGLA championships have ever been hosted in the UK with plans to include swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, open water swimming and the famous Pink Flamingo events all hosted in some of London’s most iconic venues. In addition, the IGLA Championships will be hosted in conjunction with London’s Pridefest
There haven’t been many updates yet regarding the Gay Games in 2023, but we are looking forward to official announcements for both the 2022 IGLA Championships and the 2023 Gay Games here in the near future. As we all find our way back into the pool coming out of this pandemic, the future of LGBTQIA+ swimming is looking stronger than ever.