Limerick’s application for the addition of Boxing & Wheelchair Rugby to the approved sports list for the 2018 Gay Games has been officially approved by the international Federation of Gay Games (FGG).
This is the latest step in the bidding process for the 2018 event, for which groups from five cities; Amsterdam, Limerick, London, Orlando, and Paris are still in the running.
Bidders were allowed for the first time in 2009 to apply for prior authorization of sports not currently on the FGG list of approved sports. During that cycle, bidders from Cleveland took advantage of this opportunity to request approval for Rodeo, which was granted, and which will be included as an associated event in Gay Games 9 in Cleveland & Akron, USA in 2014.
The current cycle for Gay Games X in 2018, which will see a host chosen in October 2013, has seen an explosion in these requests. Bidders from Limerick requested permission to include Boxing and Wheelchair Rugby in their bid, while Paris requested the authorization for no fewer than five sports: Archery, Fencing, Pétanque, and Polo, as well as Roller Derby, a sport also requested by the London group. All requests have now been approved, with the exception of Polo.
Bid Coordinator for Limerick 2018 John James Hickey expressed his delight at the approval of both Boxing & Wheelchair Rugby by the Federation and hopes this will enhance the bid that the Limerick team will be submitting at the end of February. "The Limerick team has been working very hard in the last number of months to advance our bid. The approval of the Sports Committee of Boxing and Wheelchair Quad Rugby as sports which are unique to the Limerick bid is something to be welcomed. It is our opinion that the inclusion of these sports broadens the remit of Gay Games and opens up more opportunities to other participants across the World."
Federation officer for site selection Dennis Sneyers discussed the FGG’s goal of a balanced sports program that respected the desires and capacity of its host organizations: “There are sports that in terms of numbers and history will always be an integral part of the Gay Games.
For instance, we simply cannot imagine an event without swimming or volleyball or running events. But we also want to reach out to the athletic community with sports that offer new experiences for new participants. And we recognize the impact that including a sport in the Gay Games can have for visibility for a sport and for LGBT participation in it. So many of today’s LGBT sport clubs and organizations were born from the Gay Games, and by offering the possibility for new sports to be showcased in the 2018 Games, we hope to continue the goal of the Gay Games to be an incubator for new groups around the world. Our mission is to promote LGBT equality, and by encouraging our hosts to reach out to new participants, we expand the opportunity to share the empowering experience of the Gay Games.”
Sneyers concluded: “With the approval of these requests, bidding organizations will be able to finalize their sports programs, a key element in their bid books, due in late February 2013. It’s only then that we will see each organization’s vision of how Gay Games X can promote equality through sport and culture. The final decision on the host of Gay Games X will take place at a special meeting of FGG delegates, officers and volunteers in October 2013 in Cleveland, host with Akron of Gay Games 9 in August 2014.”
Should Limerick be successful the event will see in excess of 10,000 competitors descend on Limerick and the Shannon region for a showcase of Sporting & Cultural activities. It is estimated that the 10 day event will bring in approximately €50,000,000 in revenue for the region.
So far the bid has been supported by Shannon Development, Failte Ireland, Limerick City Council, Shannon Airport, University of Limerick, Limerick Chamber of Commerce, Analogue Devices and the Shannon Conference & Events Bureau.
If anybody would like to offer financial support for the 2018 Bid can log onto the website and click on the Donate button or email email@example.com.
The public support has been overwhelming and organizers are appealing for anybody who wishes to get involved in any way shape of form to get in contact via the website www.limerick2018.com.