Auckland wins Outgames bid
Auckland has been announced as the winner of the bid to host the 4th Asia Pacific Outgames. The games will be held in the New Zealand city in February 2016.
“Having now held three very successful and financially viable events, the Asia Pacific Outgames has established itself as a leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) event in the Asia Pacific region” said Barry Taylor, President of Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association Asia Pacific (GLISA Asia Pacific).
Unlike other many sporting events the Outgames also delivers an arts and culture festival and a human rights forum to provide LGBTI participants with a true celebration of their community and lifestyle. It is expected 100s of LGBTI sportspeople and their supporters will converge on New Zealand for the event.
“With it’s three pillars of Sports, Culture and Human Rights, the Outgames will see over 2000 LGBTI participants from across the Asia and Pacific region gather in Auckland to compete in sport striving for their personal best, and to celebrate and to affirm our lives through culture, music, dance, drama and the visual arts,” said Taylor.
The Games will be coincide with Auckland Pride festival, giving participants a real opportunity to celebrate their diversity. Highlights of the 4th Asia Pacific Outgames include an opening ceremony at an iconic Auckland venue, over 20 different sports, an extensive arts and cultural programme, inspiring keynote speakers, parties and cultural events.
“The Human Rights Forum allows us to be in solidarity with each other, acknowledging that for many LGBTI people in the Asia and Pacific region there is not full legal protection under the law nor the enjoyment of equal human rights, particularly if you are trans or intersex,” Taylor said.
“The Auckland Outgames will build on the success of previous events continuing the innovative approach to making the Outgames to be relevant to our communities.”
Taylor said GLISA AP is hoping for increased participation by younger athletes and has included several new sports that may appeal to younger members of the LGBTI community.
As a world first, Gaming and Wall Rock Climbing competitions are being held in the Outgames. Another new feature is the family friendly events catering for Rainbow families such as junior athletics and swimming activities.
Image: Team Auckland at the Darwin Outgames in the marshalling area before opening ceremony.