The New Zealand city of Auckland has won the bidding to host the 2016 OutGames, which will be held to coincide with the annual Auckland Pride festival.
Announcing the selection of Auckland yesterday, Barry Taylor, President of Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association Asia Pacific (GLISA Asia Pacific) said, “Having now held three very successful and financially viable events, the Asia Pacific Outgames has established itself as a leading LGBTI event in the Asia Pacific region.”
“With it’s three pillars of Sports, Culture and Human Rights, the Outgames will see over 2000 LGBTI participants from across the Asia and Pacific region gather in Auckland to compete in sport striving for their personal best, and to celebrate our lives through cultural celebrations, performance and the visual arts,” said Mr Taylor. “The Human Rights Forum allows us to be in solidarity with each other, acknowledging that for many LGBTI people in the Asia and Pacific region there is still not full legal protection under the law nor the enjoyment of equal human rights, particularly if you are trans or intersex.”
Being held concurrently with the Auckland Pride Festival, highlights of the 4th Asia Pacific Outgames include an opening ceremony at an iconic Auckland venue, over 20 different sports, an extensive arts and cultural programme, inspiring keynote speakers, participants marching in the Auckland Pride Parade, parties and cultural events.
“Building on the success of the previous events, the Auckland Outgames will continue to be innovative in planning the Outgames so to ensure that the events are relevant to our communities,” said Mr Taylor. “GLISA AP wishes to see increased participation of young people in Outgames so we have included new events in the sports programme that are appealing to young people.”
As a world first, Cyber Gaming and Wall Rock Climbing competitions are being held in the Outgames. Another new feature are the family friendly events catering for Rainbow families such as junior athletics and swimming activities for children and young teens.
The OutGames bring together lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes from around the world in unprecedented numbers for a celebration of sport, culture and human rights. In the spirit of true inclusiveness, the OutGames are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation.