Manchester festivals urge LGBT community to get sporty this summer

Manchester’s LGBT community is kicking off a summer full of sport with a brand new festival of fitness and activity throughout this month and the annual Pride Games.

Sports May, which is being supported and funded by Manchester City Council and Pride Sports, hopes to increase LGBT participation in sport as well as celebrate and encourage diversity.

The festival also aims to improve people’s sporting performance, no matter what level they start out at, and encourage communication across regional LGTB sports groups.

Director of Pride Sports Anna Verges said: “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.”

Sports May provides athletics, trans football, women’s basketball, volleyball, rugby union, water polo and all the sessions are free to attend.

Participants are encouraged to participate in many different sporting sessions with local LGBT clubs and work their way up to achieving a gold, silver or bronze medal.

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

They are offering a range of sessions across May, including a track session, women’s run and City Run. 

Angelo Tomasso from the club said that the ‘club welcomes all newcomers’ and that their members are looking forward to attempting some new sports during the festival.

She added: “We are going to try water polo, rugby league and tennis for a start!”

Following Sports May the annual Pride Games, run in conjunction with local sports groups, will run from June 5-7.

The activities on offer will include squash, track & field events and a softball tournament.

Baseball Softball UK, the national governing body for softball, will hold  its first ever softball tournament for LGBT people and LGBT friendly teams on Saturday June 6. 

People with all levels of skill and experience are encouraged to try out the sport.

The tournament will run from 11.00am-5.00pm and all funds raised will be donated to Educate & Celebrate, a charity dedicated to making all schools and workplaces LGBT+Friendly.

Charity CEO Elly Barnes 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.”

Anna said Pride Sports hope to create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for all those looking to get involved in the festival.

She said: “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.”

Registration is open for Manchester’s brand new summer sports and activity festival for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community Sports May here.  

Original image courtesy of Oscar Rethwill with thanks.

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