Large English contingent heads to EuroGames
2 August 2015
Next week Europe’s largest international LGB&T sport competition takes place in Stockholm, Sweden.
Taking place from 5 – 9 August, this will be the fifth EuroGames. Over 5,000 participants are expected to attend from all over the world and compete in 30 sports.
A large English contingent will be competing in the aquatics events, which includes swimming, water polo, diving and synchronised swimming.
Manchester Sharks Water Polo Club is sending a mixed team of 12 to compete in the water polo tournament, including GB women’s water polo player Vicky Bowen.
Northern Wave Swimming Club has 11 athletes competing over the swimming, water polo and synchro competitions. This will be the first EuroGames for many of the athletes, and for some, their first ever swimming competition. It will also be the first time Northern Wave have fielded an all-male synchro team of four, the Hulme Manatees, which they have put together since the beginning of this year.
Out To Swim have by far the largest contingent competing at the EuroGames with 133 members travelling to Stockholm including a mixed synchro team of six.
Club Chairman Philip Collins commented: “The UK's largest LBGT aquatics club with over 350 members, is excited to be taking such a large team to the EuroGames.
“We are all looking forward to competing and expect the quality of the competition to be high, especially in water polo with several strong teams attending from North America. With a good number of our swimmers competing for the first time we're aiming for improved PBs across the board.”
The University of York Swimming team is sending four swimmers to the event in a bid to increase awareness and inclusion of LGB&T members in sport at the University.
Christopher Unsworth, Team leader at the University of York, which is the first University to actively show their support for LGBTQ inclusion in such a way, said: "In the Swimming and Waterpolo club at the University of York most of us have been involved in aquatic sports for large parts of our lives and we couldn't imagine not being involved.
“The EuroGames provides the ultimate platform to encourage diversity and involvement by breaking down barriers and stigma between different communities and this is why we'd like to take part. Being the first students to represent a university at such an event is something that our team is really proud of and adds to the amazing personal experience we'll get from competing.”
The ASA’s Equality and Diversity Programme Manager, Jamie Hooper, will be attending the EuroGames to experience an LGB&T event on this scale and learn from the LGB&T aquatics networks in other countries. He will also be supporting the English aquatics contingent.
He commented: “I am immensely excited to be travelling out to Stockholm for this event. It is a real showcase of what the LGB&T community can achieve, and offers the athletes the chance to compete on an international level, which they may not feel comfortable doing in other environments. I cannot wait to see the event in action and learn as much as possible to bring back to the ASA”.
Image courtesy of EuroGames