Victorian Clubs gear up for inclusive sports smorgasbord

Team Melbourne MidsummaTeam Melbourne will bring 17 LGBTIQ sport clubs together for one day to Footscray Park and the Victoria University Footscray Campus in an effort to promote the importance of health and diversity in sport across Melbourne.

This free annual event on Saturday 30 January is the largest of its kind and allows participants to try their hand at a wide range of different sports, encouraging participation from people of all ages and abilities. The aim is to encourage play for all regardless of sexuality of gender orientation and the importance of a maintaining a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing.

Team Melbourne President, Carolyn Harrison, said the Sports Festival is an important event for Melburnians. “Not only is the Sports Festival about bringing together members of the GLBTIQ community for the ultimate come and try day, it’s also the single largest event of its kind in Australia,” said Harrison.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who identifies as, or has family members or friends who identify as being part of a diverse gender or sexuality, to have a go at sport in an inclusive, safe environment.”

Supported and funded by Maribyrnong City Council, the Sports Festival will provide countless free sessions for individuals and groups interested in sport and recreation within the GLBTIQ community. Featured sports and activities will include AFL 9s, rugby union, volleyball, swimming, rowing and tennis. The event will also include a BBQ lunch and nutrition sessions.

Glamourhead Sharks member Kodie Webb joined the swim club two years ago after attending the GLBTIQ Sports Festival looking for a way to connect with new people whilst keeping physically active. Webb quickly appreciated the value of sport and recreation within the GLBTIQ community.

“There shouldn’t be any barriers to playing or excelling in sport and the GLBTIQ Sports Festival gives everyone the chance to participate,” said Webb. “The Glamourhead Sharks are looking forward to promoting what we are all about and hopefully recruit some new members along the way.”

The Team Melbourne 2016 GLBTIQ Sports Festival will be held at Footscray Park on Saturday 30 January commencing at 9am. For more information (including event timetable), visit: www.teammelbourne.org.au/sports-festival for details.

Image: Dominic Niumataget, Chris Gooden, Emily Chong and Mike Downes – photo courtesy of Team Melbourne

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