100 Irish athletes to travel to Paris for 10th Gay Games
Games open to all and are a ‘hymn to love’ and social diversity
Albert Dolan (squash) with Philippa Ryder (cycling), Reg Curtis (badminton) and Roland Hempel (swimming), reflected in his glasses, announcing details of Team Ireland’s participation in Gay Games 2018 in Paris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
Members of Team Ireland getting ready for 10th Gay Games 2018 in Paris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
Founded in 1986 to promote the visibility of gay people in sport, they are now open to anyone who is competent in their sport, and are described as “a hymn to love” to advocate a society for social diversity.
Irish athletes will take part in 40 sports, including running, boxing, badminton and soccer over the 10-day event, from August 4th.
Aidan Walsh, chairman of the national committee for Team Ireland, said there remained a lack of role models for Irish gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in sports.
While “rugby and GAA have been very good” there remained a dearth of role models for the community in soccer. He said there was about 20 per cent fewer LGBT people involved in sport than there were in the general population, and while reasons for this needed to be explored, it was “clear there remains a stigma” about being gay and interested in sports.
Team Ireland is fundraising for a team kit, which Mr Walsh estimates would cost €5,000-€6,000.