Compete Network Feature Stories

International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics is Stepping Up Women’s Inclusion and Participation

With new co-presidents Liz Carlin and Diego Suarez taking the lead for IGLA, the organization to host social events to help encourage more cisgender and transgender women to join and participate. We’ve already seen a bit of this here at Gay Games Paris 2018, if you had been at the swimming events you will have noticed the “Women of IGLA” Banner. Carlin, and the members of the “Women’s Empowerment Committee” on IGLA have also organized some social gatherings specific to female participants.

Empowering more women to take part in swimming is very important as there is only a fraction of female participants compared to male, especially at Gay Games Paris 2018 where there are always smaller numbers of women’s heats compared to men. It’s time we even that out and that’s what they are going to do.

Carlin shared that it’s important that these events be created and organized by women and for women because with the male dominated events tend to take precedence in terms of planning the social gatherings, which are not of interest to many of the female participants. This discourages participation and reduces membership. By organizing female only events, they can be designed for the kinds of social activities that women, specifically lesbian women, are interested in. This will help IGLA and their membership teams to increase participation and get more people involved as well as increasing female representation in aquatics, especially in swimming and water polo.

With the 2019 IGLA in New York and 2020 IGLA in Melbourne, IGLA will be planning many fun social events specifically for women. For more information on IGLA visit www.igla.org or on Facebook

By Dirk Smith

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