By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)
The Biennial event, celebrating LGBTQ+ pride all over the world and is held in different cities comes to Sydney in 2023 in time for Sydney Gay Mardi Gras. The last event took place in 2021 in Copenhagen of which our managing editor of sports, Dirk Smith (that’s me), attended. The 2021 World Pride was co-hosted with the 2021 Eurogames to celebrate LGBTQ+ sports alongside the World Pride Human Rights Conference and celebratory program.
While the Eurogames did not come to Sydney, many other LGBTQ+ sports events did. The biggest being the IGLFA World Cup XXIV antipode, which was co-hosted between Washington DC last summer and now is taking place in Sydney during World Pride. In addition, LGBTQ+ sports clubs and leagues from all over Australia are joining in on the festivities with different events being hosted across a large diversity of sports. Here’s some of the highlights.
World Pride Open: Hosted by Tennis Sydney, officially sanctioned by the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance as part of the GLTA World Tour, the tournament offers LGBTQ+ tennis players the opportunity to compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. There is also an event offered for beginners to come and try out the sport and meet the team.
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Emerald International Kickball Tournament: Promising a “positive, expressive, camp, and affirming” to the Emerald City Kickball Tournament, all are welcome to join and learn more about Emerald City Kickball and get involved with both the team and the sport.
PinkHockey Sydney: Hosted by the Bentstix Hockey Club and billed as the “largest three-day festival of LGBTQ+ Floor Hockey”, the PinkHockey Sydney tournament brings out 250 hockey players for three days of round robin and a final series that isn’t to be missed. Just remember to keep your ball on the stick.
Pride Open Squash Tournament: Hosted by Rainbow Racquets Squash Sydney and Squash Australia, they are expecting lots of “racket” from the community to come out and play some squash. This is also the only World Pride sports tournament supported and co-hosted by an official National Governing Body.
Pride on Ice Hockey Tournament: Hosted by the Harbour Lights Hockey Club as its annual tournament as part of Sydney Gay Mardi Gras and this year is no different! Two days of non-contact tournament play in two divisions, Harbour Lights invites members of the LGBTQ+ community to come play for the championship.
Stride with Pride: This year, the Sydney Frontrunners are celebrating their 40th birthday by inviting visitors to join them for a 5k walk/run or 10k run. The event includes prizes for fastest walkers and runners, most fabulous outfit and a handbag throwing competition.
Tony Galluzzo Wrestling Tournament: Hosted by the Sydney Silverbacks Wrestling Club, the annual Olympic freestyle wrestling tournament, named after former club president, Tony Galluzzo is welcome to LGBTQ+ and allied wrestlers from all over the world and all skill levels to take to the mat.
Dragons on Darling: hosted by Different Strokes, Dragon Boats NSW and the Australian Dragon Boat Federation promises the “most colorful dragon boat racing during World Pride Sydney 2023” and is the first ever Pride-themed Dragon Boat Regatta.
We are so happy to see so many amazing events and LGBTQ+ sports organizations taking part in World Pride. If you helped in organizing one of these FABULOUS events or simply participated as an athlete or athletic supporter, we would love to hear from you and share the story of your experiences! Send an email to email@example.com to get in touch.