21 International LGBT Groups Become Official Gay Games® Partners

Thu. December 2, 2004 12:00 AM

New program offers big benefits to sports groups – large and small

Chicago, IL - Led by Team San Francisco, twenty one (21) of the world’s LGBT sports and culture organizations have become “Official Gay Games Partners,” joining a brand new innovative membership program designed to more formally link the Gay Games with the LGBT sports and culture community. A joint campaign of the Chicago hosts of the 2006 Gay Games and the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), the Partner Program gives big benefits back to organizations – large and small - that represent participants in the Gay Games VII, 15-22 July 2006.

The program is available to any sports or culture organization that represents participants, or potential participants, in the Gay Games. Benefits include a link and listing on the Gay Games VII web site, ability to communicate with registered athletes and artists, formal recognition of their Official Partner status, support by Gay Games VII for local organizing efforts, and fast-track approval on use of logos and images for promotions, uniforms and fundraisers. Membership details and forms are available via a prominent link at http://www.GayGamesChicago.org/partners.

Team San Francisco was given the honor of the first membership in this landmark new program in recognition of their city's role as the host of Gay Games I and II in 1982 and 1986. Team San Francisco is also the largest single city delegation to the Gay Games by far, having sent more than 1,200 athletes and artists to Sydney in 2002 for Gay Games VI.

Inaugural Official Gay Games Partners include (FGG Director organizations noted with an asterisk -*):
Federation of Gay Games (FGG)
Fédération Sportive Gaie et Lesbienne (Team France/FSGL)*
Gay and Lesbian Organization for Racing and Yachting (GLORY)
Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA)*
Gay Sport South Africa (GSSA)
Greater Long Beach Sports Association (GLBSA)
International Association of Gay and Lesbian Martial Artists (IAGLMA)*
International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA)*
International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA)*
International Gay Bowling Organization (IGBO)*
International Gay Figure Skating Union (IGFSU)*
Lesbian and Gay Band Association (Team Band)*
National Gay Basketball Association (NGBA)
Out for Sport/Great Britain (OFS)*
Wrestlers WithOut Borders*
Team New York
Team Philadelphia*
Team San Francisco*
Team South Africa (TOGS)*
Queer Utah Aquatic Club (QUAC)
Women’s Sports Association (WSA)
Complete descriptions of each organization are available at http://www.GayGamesChicago.org/partners.

“This program is a true partnership,” said Sam Coady, Co-Chair of Chicago Games, Inc. “Sports organizations, leagues, cultural groups, and city teams spend countless hours preparing for the Gay Games. Recognizing this commitment, and in return for greater collaboration, we will give our partners more tools to expand their infrastructure, better organize, and reach athletes and artists coming to Gay Games VII.”

The hallmark benefit to the Gay Games Partners is access to those who have registered for the Gay Games. “Technological advances since Gay Games VI in Sydney have made it possible for us to create communication links between registered athletes and artists and the organizations that serve their needs without violating important privacy laws and guidelines,” said Suzanne Arnold, Co-Chair of Chicago Games, Inc. “This forwards the larger mission of the Gay Games, which is to foster and sustain an international LGBT sports movement. The world comes together around the Gay Games, and we can use that momentum, energy and capital to fuel growth in teams and sports across the globe.

“This program represents a significant step forward in the Gay Games movement,” said Roberto Mantaci, Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games. “Initiated by the Chicago host committee, the concept represents the best of our partnership with our colleagues and friends in the Windy City. This program will enhance the athlete’s experience at Gay Games VII, and will be handed to the new host of Gay Games VIII when that city has been selected, giving the new host city access to dozens of organizations and thousands of athletes and artists. We are enthusiastically in support of this program, and we are happy to contribute significantly with our technological resources and volunteers.”

About Gay Games VII
Gay Games VII Sports and Cultural Festival will take place 15-22 July 2006. Over 12,000 athletes from more than 70 countries will compete in 30 sports ranging from softball to dancesport, swimming to tennis. The weeklong event will include band, cheerleading and color guard performances, chorus, an ancillary arts festival, and a series of community-organized social events and parties. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 15 July at Soldier Field, the lakefront home stadium of American-style football’s Chicago Bears. Closing ceremony will be 22 July at Wrigley Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, located in the heart of Chicago’s largest LGBT neighborhood. Athletes and artists can register now for Gay Games VII and receive early registration discounts at GayGamesChicago.org.

About The Gay Games
The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986; 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990; 7,300 participants), New York (1994; 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998; 13,000 participants), and Sydney (2002; 11,000 participants).

The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event's founding principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best™. For more information, visit GayGames.org.

Chicago Games, Inc. is the host of Gay Games VII and is led by experienced civic leaders from Chicago’s business, sports and non-profit sectors. For information about how to sponsor or participate in Gay Games VII in Chicago, visit www.GayGamesChicago.org, e-mail info@GayGamesChicago.org, or phone (773) 907-2006.