Game on! 21 LGBTQIA+ sports organisations join Sydney WorldPride festival

26 Feb 2022


Football, hockey, basketball, roller derby, kickball, water polo, ten-pin bowling, squash, swimming, boxing, running, wrestling and more – a variety of LGBTQIA+ sporting organisations are ready to kick goals, score points and break their participation records next year, officially joining the Sydney WorldPride festival happening 17 February – 5 March 2023.

Beloved organisations including Sydney Stingers and the Sydney Rams will join several new organisations going all-out with interstate and international championships hosted in Sydney, plus new events for a variety of skill levels.

Sydney WorldPride has been able to support each of the sports organisations financially to help fund and elevate their plans for summer in 2023. Checkout the full list of recipients below!

With Sydney WorldPride now only 12 months away, this is the perfect time to get back into a team, register your interest in a new sport, and encourage your sporting friends and groups from outside Sydney to come and join us.

The sports events are one of many streams of activities in the Sydney WorldPride festival which will also include visual arts, literature, music, dance, digital arts, contemporary performance and more.

Each LGBTQIA+ sporting organisation has signed Sydney WorldPride’s Sports Inclusivity & Diversity Commitment, which aligns to our shared goal of creating trans-inclusive, accessible events and activities to welcome our community’s kaleidoscope of LGBTQIA+ identities, diverse backgrounds, and everyone, including people with disability.

Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett says she’s thrilled to see so many sporting organisations join the festival. “Since we won our bid to bring WorldPride to Sydney, our local LGBTQIA+ sporting organisations have been among the most excited and engaged groups with our plans.”

“We’re delighted to align and support each other as we get back out there, get active, and welcome the world to Sydney next year,” said Kate.

“Whoever you are, where ever you’re from, whatever your ability, sport is all about getting out there and getting active. I’m so pleased to see Sydney’s LGBTQIA+ sporting organisations going from strength to strength and looking forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful city for games during Sydney WorldPride,” said NSW Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres.

Pride in Sport Index co-founder Andrew Purchas OAM says he is very proud for Pride in Sport to be working alongside Sydney WorldPride for this momentous occasion and to help ensure all participating clubs are inclusive for all of our wonderful rainbow community.

“Sydney WorldPride is going to be an absolutely huge opportunity for our communities to showcase their sporting prowess to the world, as well as demonstrate the ability for sport in general to be an inclusive space for everyone,” he says.

“Pride in Sport is excited to be working with Sydney WorldPride to ensure that everyone is welcome to participate and excel in the sport they love, and to help place our rainbow sporting teams on the world map,” said Andrew.

More information about the developing schedule of events happening during Sydney WorldPride is arriving regularly to the website over the next few months. For the latest event, ticketing pre-sale and talent information, sign up to our email alerts here.

Image: LGBTQIA+ sporting organisations with Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett (supplied)

Sporting organisations joining the Sydney WorldPride festival

Bentstix Hockey Club
Bentstix Hockey club is ready to welcome the Pink Hockey community for an exciting three day international tournament at Sydney World Pride 2023. Over 250 interstate and international competitors and spectators will join the growing LGBTQIA+ hockey club to create a fun and competitive festival of hockey for all to enjoy. With this tournament they aim to make it possible for anyone in our community to pick up a hockey stick and reap the benefits of participating in our sport. Partnering with Hockey NSW they hope to build a lasting legacy for inclusive hockey participation for many years to come.

Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club
Different Strokes Dragon Boat Club is the only LGBTQI+ dragon boat club across Australia. This positions Different Strokes in a very important milestone for Sydney and the dragon boating community. With the increasing popularity of dragon boating globally, it is important to share the passion towards the sport to members of the LGBTQI+ community, and impart the benefits of participating in sports, living an active lifestyle, and at the same time, meet people and participate in a competitive yet friendly environment.

Emerald City Kickball
Emerald City Kickball began in 2020 as a project to find a safe and affirming way to create an inclusive community during the pandemic. As a recreational sport that is available regardless of skill level, kickball quickly became a vibrant piece of the LGBTQIA+ community. More than another competitive sports tournament, come experience our unique festival of sports, arts and culture. Something for everyone! Our two-day Sydney WorldPride tournament is kickball on a grander scale. Featuring a First Nations’ led yarning circle connecting players to each other and the land along with a queer fashion half-time show all surrounded by the exciting competition.

Flying Bats Football Club
The Flying Bats and Sydney Rangers Football Clubs, along with Pride Football Australia, will host the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) World Championships XXIV in Sydney in 2023. This event will bring together LGBTIQA+ people and allies from across the world to participate in a soccer tournament from 19 – 23 February 2023 to coincide with Sydney WorldPride. The Championship will promote visibility and inclusion of LGBTIQA+ people in football and sport globally. It will welcome players of diverse sexualities and genders, and a range of skill levels, to join together in an inclusive environment free from discrimination.

Gay and Lesbian Martial Arts
The Sydney WorldPride Martial Arts Championships will be a Multi-style Martial Arts Tournament that offers opportunities to promote excellence in the martial arts as well as developing self-defence and safety skills. The tournament will include non-contact point sparring, self defence categories, forms, weapon forms, performance opportunities, workshops from overseas guests and more.

GSquash
Sydney-based GSquash is the biggest, most active squash club in all of Australia – attracting players of all ages, skill levels and genders – and we look forward to welcoming our LGBTIQ+ players, allies and friends from around the country and the world (!) to our first WorldPride Intl Squash Open Tournament. Hosted at the fabulous Hiscoes Squash Courts, over 2 days (23-24th Feb) – inclusive of a round-robin day to confirm rankings/groups (A, B, C, D), before a knock-out/medals the next day – this will be a great way to combine show off your squash skills before the big Mardi Gras weekend.

Harbour Lights Ice Hockey
The Harbour Lights Ice Hockey club will hold a WorldPride Cup Ice Hockey Tournament for four days during WorldPride’s sport week 20-24 February 2023. The tournament will feature non-contact ice hockey games with players graded into teams based on ability and of any gender. Teams invited will be from LGBT Ice Hockey Australia, including the Southern Lights, along with some of the emerging LGBTQIA+ ice hockey clubs in other Australian cities – plus international friends.

Inner West Roller Derby League
“Pride is a huge part of our community. Inner West Roller Derby League embodies and celebrates the word pride and all it stands for. IWRDL not only respects and values our LGBTQIA+ community, we visibly celebrate them. The Inner West of Sydney is known for its queer culture and we have a lot of skaters come to our location seeking out their community. Roller derby is one of the most inclusive sports world wide. We set an example in terms of gender inclusion.”

Lifesavers with Pride
2023 will be the fourth year of Lifesavers with Pride’s Rainbow Beaches Program. Surf Clubs around the country are encouraged to celebrate inclusion and diversity down on the sand by decorating their patrols and clubs in rainbow colours. In 2023, the event will also align with the SLSNSW State Championships with rainbow decorations, demonstrating both to the Surf Lifesaving community that we welcome our LGBTIQ+ members and recruits, but also show the LGBTIQ+ community that Surf Lifesaving is proud and safe for everyone to come and join.

NBL 3×3 Hustle Basketball
3×3 basketball is the world’s fastest growing urban team sport. The game is simpler and faster than traditional 5v5. Six players play on a half court, with one hoop for 10 minutes or first to 21 points. No breaks, no stoppages and non-stop music make 3×3 basketball games spectacular and exciting, drawing fans from all walks of life into an authentic, urban culture atmosphere. The Pro Hustle event at Sydney WorldPride will give Australian National team players the opportunity to earn FIBA 3×3 Federation points to earn a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics Qualifiers.

Queer Sporting Alliance
“Come and get your queer on with the hottest ticket for WP! DJs, Champion giveaways, food trucks, half time drag acts…QSA does sport a little differently! Watch our QSA basketball teams go head to head while dancing along to a surprise guest DJ! The event will showcase QSA’s non-gendered mixed basketball rules at the KGV centre near the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Following the game, we will be hosting a roller disco! QSA can provide loan Chuffed Skates and safety gear if needed. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner as we will have coaches to help you get rolling. Tickets are free and spots are strictly limited! This event is wheelchair accessible and Auslan interpreted.”

Sydney Frontrunners
“We are a GLBTIQ+ and friends group of runners and walkers who meet at least weekly (mostly in Centennial Parl). We were formed mid 1983 and we celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2023! We cater for ALL abilities and are a friendly club that not only runs/walks but also we do social events and activities. We have about 125 members right now, and about 40-50 attend each Saturday our main run. We are a proud members of International Front Runners and also Team Sydney.”

Sydney Rainbow Golfers
“We are a social golf group for LGBTQI+ players, friends and family that plays weekly on a range of courses in Sydney on Sundays and most Fridays. All ages and all abilities welcome. We have experienced and inexperienced golfers in the group and we have fun – we are not playing for Sheep Stations but we do occasionally have Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin prizes. Occasionally some of us play in the local competition. We will be one of many events providing a safe and inclusive sporting opportunity with friendly competition. The event will showcase one or two of Sydney’s top golf courses with picturesque views of the cityscape and/or the sandstone coast and ocean. We will offer an opportunity for the broader community to see the diversity of LGBTQI+ people in sport.”

Sydney Rams Tenpin Bowling
Sydney Rams will celebrate its 40th Year in 2023 and has planned a number of events to celebrate this achievement with one of those events coincides with Sydney hosting the Sydney Worldpride 2023.Sydney Rams will hold it’s annual Mardi Gras tournament as part of the Sydney Worldpride 2023 sporting events. The tournament will hold Singles, Doubles and Team events at Manhattan Superbowl over a 2 or 3 day period.

Sydney Rangers Football Club
The Flying Bats and Sydney Rangers Football Clubs, along with Pride Football Australia, will host the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) World Championships XXIV in Sydney in 2023. This event will bring together LGBTIQA+ people and allies from across the world to participate in a soccer tournament from 19 – 23 February 2023 to coincide with Sydney WorldPride. The Championship will promote visibility and inclusion of LGBTIQA+ people in football and sport globally. It will welcome players of diverse sexualities and genders, and a range of skill levels, to join together in an inclusive environment free from discrimination.

Sydney Roller Derby League
Sydney Roller Derby League presents their inaugural PRIDE FIGHT! Potluck teams Butch and Femme face off once again in a fun exhibition bout which brings together leagues and derby players from around Australia. Beginning in 2013 as “The Battle of the Bent Track”, PRIDE FIGHT continues the SRDL tradition of celebrating queer skaters in roller derby. Featuring two main bouts in the evening, the event will also host stalls and displays from the skating and roller derby community throughout the day. With a fun, festival atmosphere, SRDL’s PRIDE FIGHT aims to reignite the sport of roller derby and bring skaters and spectators together in the spirit of inclusiveness, teamwork, and cooperation.

Sydney Silverbacks (Harbour City Wrestling Club)
The Sydney Silverbacks Wrestling Club is an LGBTIQ+ and straight friendly Olympic Freestyle wrestling club based in Sydney. The community-based club is not-for-profit, with members helping with fundraising to keep access to training financially accessible for those of various socioeconomic backgrounds. As part of Sydney WorldPride, the Silverbacks will be hosting an international wrestling tournament, reaching out to our affiliated clubs through international organisation Wrestling Without Borders, NSW Wrestling and Wrestling Australia.

Sydney Stingers Water Polo Club
AQuA (Australian Queer Aquatics) Festival is a joint initiative between Sydney’s LGBTIQA+ swimming and water polo clubs, the Wett Ones and Sydney Stingers. AQuA will feature four key events: Beach Day – Manly will host an ocean water swim and beach water polo 4’s tournament. Swimming Tournament – Wett Ones will host a comprehensive swim meet. Water Polo Tournament – Sydney Stingers will host the inaugural AQuA Cup. Finals Day – Swimming and Water Polo come together for the Finals and conclude in style with a massive closing party aboard The Island on Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Stingers is Australia’s oldest and largest LGBTIQA+ inclusive water polo club. In its 20th year, the club has nearly 200 members from across the spectrum. Stingers competes in and organises tournaments both locally and internationally, including the Sydney Metro Competition, Australian Rainbow Grudge Matches and the recent launch of its own internal tournament for beginners.

Tennis Sydney
Tennis Sydney is planning the largest inclusive and diverse queer tennis tournament Australia has ever hosted. Aiming to have over 300 participants from across the globe, Tennis Sydney will gather and unite the worldwide queer tennis community for a week long tournament of quality tennis across two sites, over 30+ tennis courts with players of varying skill levels and abilities to celebrate the love of tennis within a safe and inclusive space for queer and ally athletes. This tournament will be the highlight of 2023’s global tennis calendar.

Wett Ones Swimming Club
AQuA (Australian Queer Aquatics) Festival is a joint initiative between Sydney’s LGBTIQA+ swimming and water polo clubs, the Wett Ones and Sydney Stingers. AQuA will feature four key events: Beach Day – Manly will host an ocean water swim and beach water polo 4’s tournament. Swimming Tournament – Wett Ones will host a comprehensive swim meet. Water Polo Tournament – Sydney Stingers will host the inaugural AQuA Cup. Finals Day – Swimming and Water Polo come together for the Finals and conclude in style with a massive closing party aboard The Island on Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Wett Ones is Australia’s largest Masters swimming club, and the largest LGBTIQA+ swimming club outside North America and Europe. Now in its 30th year, Wett Ones provides a safe, friendly and supportive swimming club for its 150+ members, the gay and lesbian community and friends, in Sydney. Competing at local, national and international events they aim to provide an environment for LGBTIQA swimmers and their friends to participate in competitive and fitness swimming.

World Gay Boxing Championship
World Gay Boxing Championships Limited (WGBC) is an Australian Not-For-Profit organisation committed to disrupting homophobia and transphobia in sport though increasing LGBTQIA+ inclusion and participation in boxing. WGBC is holding the world’s first boxing championships for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies from 18 – 22 February 2023 at Australian Turf Club’s Winx Stand. Safe participation is our number one priority.  We are supported by Boxing Australia and the championships will be sanctioned by Boxing NSW. We believe boxing is for everyone and are excited about holding the best boxing event on the planet!

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