By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)

While 2024 is still four years away, organizers in the UK are working hard to bring the Eurogames to the UK for the first time. They are submitting not one, but two bids to host both the 2024 and 2025 Euorgames in the UK’s biggest cities of Birmingham and London, respectably.

 

The competition will be tough though, as they will be competing in the bid with Vienna, Austria who seeks to bid for both years and Lyon, France for 2025. The Eurogames was first held in The Hague in 1992 and has since become one of Europe’s largest LGBTQIA+ focused multi-sport events. Most recently it was held in Copenhagen back in August 2021 in conjunction with WorldPride and with the 2022 Eurogames due to be held in Nijmegen in The Netherlands and the 2023 Eurogames in Bern, Switzerland.

 

The bid in Birmingham is part of the legacy of Pride House Birmingham which is organized as part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games which serves to “create a safe space and welcoming, inclusive environment for LGBTIQ+ supporters, athletes, staff, volunteers and organizations at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

 

While the bid in London will be coming off the heels of the first ever International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships held in the UK which is set to take place in 2023. It is clear that the UK is ramping up its LGBTQIA+ sports efforts, which given the size and organization of the LGBTQIA+ sports community throughout the UK (hint, there is a huge community), it is surprising they have waited this long to bid.

 

The purpose of the Eurogames is to “fight against discrimination in sport on grounds of sexual preference or orientation, stimulate integration in sport and emancipation of LGBTIQ athletes, enable and support the coming out of LGBTIQ athletes, and support the founding of new LGBTIQ groups.”

 

While the first Eurogames in 1992 had 300 participants, the event has grown as large as 5000+ participants, although not without its own drama. Our own managing editor, Dirk, recently attended the Copenhagen 2021 Eurogames which helped renew his spirit in the viability of the event.

 

For the Birmingham and London bids, the road is just begun and cities still have time to submit their own bids all the way to the end of 2021, so we will be watching with baited breath and a box of popcorn to see what will happen next.

 

Photo by Alex Liivet via Flickr