We would love to expand this write-up with perspectives from various people who experienced GLLAM 2014. Please send your perspectives (including photos) to committee members who will continue to edit this piece and gather them together into a cohesive whole...
You can find a link to the GLLAM final results at the bottom of the article.
Saturday 29 March 2014 will go down in history as a very significant day: the day that gay marriage became legal in England & Wales, and a day deserving of much celebration within both gay and straight communities.
In the midst of such an historic moment, Out To Swim, the 22-year old swimming and water polo club for gays, lesbians and their friends was celebrating in its own way – enjoying a most fabulous swimming meet at the Aquatic centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford. GLLAM (the Gay & Lesbian London Aquatic Meet), has now established itself on the Masters’ swimming calendar in the UK, and is simply the swim meet to be seen at. Visitors from clubs all over the UK and Europe, gay and straight, came together to compete, meet up with old friends, and have a great day out.
What an amazing venue! From the moment we arrived, each of us knew this was going to be special and a little bit different. The freshly opened aquatic centre is stunning. Gone is the rather clumsy extra seating extending out on each side (which nevertheless served us well when we went to watch our swimming heroes in 2012). Instead, the visitor is greeted by vast floor to ceiling windows, curving up to touch the undulating wave of the roof on top. For those of us arriving early, the magic was only compounded by the initial emptiness of the centre, the sun streaming in from all sides onto the sparkling jewel in the British aquatic crown: the mighty Olympic pool, and its famous sister, the 5 metre deep diving pool. Although configured for GLLAM in a two by 25 metre arrangement (as opposed to the long-course 50 metre length), jumping into that Olympic pool was an experience few of us will forget. Swimming backstroke at four in the afternoon during warm-up, spectators and curious members of the public appeared as shadowy silhouettes, and even the newest swimmer must have felt rather special.