Updated: Thursday, 24th May 2018 @ 4:19pm

Manchester launches initiative to immortalise the history of LGBT sports

Manchester launches initiative to immortalise the history of LGBT sports

By Owen Williams and Mihaela Ivantcheva

This year sees many big sporting events with a significant gay presence.

The Olympics will be held just a month after London hosts World Pride, and in July Manchester will host the Bingham Cup, colloquially known as the Gay Rugby World Cup.

As sport is in the air, Manchester based gay sporting organisations Pride Sport and Northern Wave Swimming Club have joined hands with the LGBT Group of Unison North West to capture and immortalise the history of LGBT sports.

They have called on existing LGBT sporting groups, teams, and clubs to contact them to be included in a timeline depicting gay sporting history.

The call comes during this year’s LGBT history month which runs throughout February and the timeline will be released towards the end of the year.

“The project aims at starting a dialogue throughout the country about gay sport, most of the recorded history of gay sport has been very Manchester based and we want to attract groups from across the country,” said Trevor Burchick from Northern Wave Swimming Club, one of the organisers of the project.

A timeline, developed by Chris Morgan Gay Games Ambassador and champion power lifter, is the beginning of a wider campaign to bring more LGBT sports groups across Manchester and the country together to write the history of LGBT sport.

According to the timeline, so far, LGBT sport dates back more than 30 years ago when the first Gay Outdoor Club was formed in 1976.

“What is really inspiring is that people already contacted us. Existing LGBT activities have started to come together, making contact and widening the network.

“This valuable project offers the North’s LGBT sports groups a unique opportunity to make sure each Club’s history is recorded completely and accurately, so as to inspire future generations of LGB and T sporting people to build an exciting future sporting future for generations to come”, said Trevor.

John McSwiggan from Unison said that with all the cuts to public services over the last few years, sport and in particular gay sport has been side-lined in schools.

“We want to get disadvantaged children, gay or straight, into sport,” he said.

Other supporters such as the hosts of the Bingham Cup, the Village Spartans RUFC Rugby Union club have already joined the initiative and contributed with their part of the history timeline.

To take part in the initiative contact Trevor Burchick on e-mail at trevorburchick@btinternet.com.