Manchester set for inaugural LGBT+ Sports Festival

Besi Besemar May 7, 2015

Manchester City Council funds new sporting event for LGBT people.

Sports May

REGISTRATION is now open for ‘Sports May’, Manchester’s brand new summer sports and activity festival for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans + community’.

The event, a celebration of LGBT+ sport aims to do three things:

•   Increase the participation of LGBT people in sport

•   Help those who are already involved in sport to improve performance

•   Encourage communication across regional LGBT sports groups

The festival will run throughout May and is being supported and funded by Manchester City Council and by LGBT sports development and equity organisation Pride Sports.

Anna Verges, Director of Pride Sports, explains: “There’s still much work to be done to encourage LGBT people to get involved in sport beyond going to the gym. LGBT sports clubs can be a fantastic way for people to re-engage with sport, particularly those who’ve had negative experiences of school PE. Manchester’s LGBT sports clubs will be opening their doors to those who want to try a sport, but may be too nervous to go along to a regular session. During May, we will all be beginners in one sport or another and will all be working hard to make sure first-timers feel comfortable and welcome”

Sports May will incorporate athletics, trans football, women’s basketball, volleyball, rugby union, water polo and many more activities. All the sessions are free.

One of the many clubs involved in the initiative is the Manchester Frontrunners, LGBT running club.

Angelo Tomasso from the club describes their involvement: “Manchester Frontrunners welcomes all newcomers, but Sports May gives us an opportunity to really promote what we do. We have a range of sessions on offer during May, including a track session, women’s run, City run and also our ‘piece of cake’ 10km race for more experienced runners on 2nd May. Our existing members are really looking forward to trying some new sports as well during the festival. We are going to try water polo, rugby league and tennis for a start!”

Sports May will be swiftly followed by Manchester’s annual Pride Games from June 5-7. This year’s games focus on squash, track and field and a softball tournament.

As part of the games, Baseball Softball UK, the national governing body for softball, will be holding its first UK softball tournament for LGBT people and LGBT friendly teams. Players of all levels of skill and experience are invited to take part, even if it’s for the first time.

The tournament takes place on June 6 from 11.00am until 5pm and all monies raised will be donated to Educate & Celebrate, a charity dedicated to making all schools and workplaces LGBT+friendly.

Elly Barnes
Elly Barnes

Elly Barnes, CEO of Educate and Celebrate, said: “We want everyone to come along and have a bit of fun on June 6! Sport is for everyone of all abilities and no one should be excluded or feel they cannot participate because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We are thankful to Pride Sports & Baseball Softball UK for raising funds for us so we can continue to make all schools LGBT+Friendly”.

For more information about Sports May, click here:

For more information about Pride Games 2015, click here:

To register for the softball tournament, click here:

Manchester Softball