Article Title:Readying for Outgames 2016
Category:Events
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford and Jay Bennie
Published on:4th September 2014 - 11:38 am
Published by:GayNZ.com
NDHA link:http://ndhadeliver.natlib.govt.nz/ArcAggregator/arcView/frameView/IE28141248/http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/21/article_15688.php
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Story ID:15688
Text:Damien Strogen Auckland will host the Asia Pacific Outgames in 2016 and there is much to be done! Damien Strogen from the organising team talks about the logistics of hosting such a major event and tells us what has already been set in stone. The opportunity to host the games came during poolside chats with GLISA Asia-Pacific President Barry Taylor between races at the Darwin games. “We thought, Auckland could host this event, but it’s only 18 months away so while we’re keen, we need to go and investigate what the feeling is back in Auckland,” Strogen says. A team of locals, anchored by Team Auckland Masters Swimmers, came home and set about gauging support and looking into the logistics of hosting the games – which include sports, a human rights conference and cultural events. The community is willing and the facilities are ready – and GLISA Asia Pacific has been happily satisfied it can be done. A licence agreement will be signed at a launch event at the Auckland Council Chambers today. Strogen says the games will be run as a commercial venture. “We’re going to target 5,000 people, including participants, partners, visitors coming along to take part in the games or the atmosphere of the games. It will be commercial. We’ll have, hopefully, funding from various organisations within Auckland and New Zealand, maybe even overseas.” Strogen says they have had discussions with Auckland Council and its events body ATEED, the latter on “various aspects of funding for the games” and a number of venues have been booked. The human rights conference will be based in central Auckland, preferably near the waterfront. The central city does not have the facilities for the sports, most of which will be held in Henderson around hub venues Trusts Stadium and the West Wave Aquatic Centre, with access to plenty of transport options. Lawn bowls will be on the North Shore, and the open water swim may be at Takapuna. South Auckland is set to host some of the cultural events. Strogen says Auckland Council involvement is critical because of its reach. “Councils run the broadest marketing you can get in a city. They put the flags up on the streets. They really make a city aware that this event is coming and happening. Within our community, we’ll all know about it. But to the general populace – we’re all inclusive. We want to get your gay friendly people from Ponsonby. We want to get grandmothers from the west involved and coming down to the netball and track and field. With Council support and funding, it’s far more visual to the general public than we could possibly do ourselves.” Strogen says the Council also owns and operates many of the facilities the teams want to use and could hopefully help with discounts for public transport. As for costs, Strogen says previous Outgames have been run on budgets ranging from $250,000 to almost $1 million. “Our intention is to aim for the $1 million plus. We will be going to corporate organisations, those after the Rainbow Tick, this is a fantastic avenue for them to sign off with their tick and get engaged with the community.” Any kind of the commitment from the Government has been hard pre-election, but the team will look at this again post 20 September. They have already been in touch with both National’s Nykki Kaye and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern, who have been positive. Marketing and fundraising will be happening in earnest before Christmas. When asked how people will be encouraged to come to New Zealand for the event, Strogen says “do you really have to sell New Zealand to people?” But as for the fact it can be costly to travel so far south in the world, he says when it comes to the human rights forum it’s easy to raise funds for scholarships for key people, and those who would greatly benefit. “We’ve also got a good relationship with the Asia Pacific, particularly into the Pacific which are an often forgotten population in terms of our community. Again, through the human rights conference it’s easy to get people over for an educational conference than to take part in a sports event – but they can do both. “For Australia it’s not an issue, it’s cheaper to get here than it is to get to Darwin. Asia is always difficult to attract people from, they live in a very closed environment and they seem very comfortable in their own community environment in places like Japan, or in Thailand. We will be marketing to them through GLISA Asia Pacific themselves who will have a presence at all the fairs and gay days that occur in various cities.” Strogen says they will hopefully get a cheaper ticket deal with one or two airlines, and points out accommodation doesn’t have to break the bank, as people can be billeted by locals. He mentions they want to get multi-lingual people along to translate at all events – while there will be sign language for what Strogen describes as another often forgotten part of our community. In all, he admits a few nerved, but says the team is feeling very proud Auckland is hosting the event. “Not in an arrogant way. But proud that we’re about to pull this off for Auckland.” Organisers are now setting up an executive team, board and consultant group - applications can be made to info@aucklandoutgames.com by Friday 12 September. Details below: Board (6 positions) Executive Committee (8 positions) Consultant Advisors (20 positions) Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc. (Auckland 2016) is being formed to manage the planning, procurement, operation, delivery and legacy for the Asia-Pacific Outgames to be held in Auckland 13-20 February 2016. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in the largest LBGTI event ever to be held in Auckland. We are seeking suitably qualified people with passion, drive and vision to join the Auckland 2016 team. The intention of the planning group is for a Board with five members and a Chair to provide strategic oversight for the Outgames. Reporting to the board will be an Executive Director, who will lead the Executive Committee that will manage the Sports, Culture and Human Rights programmes, together with the Communications, Marketing, Finance, Fund Raising and Procurement activities necessary to deliver a successful event. A series of Consultant Advisors are also sought who will connect the Outgames with wider Auckland with special focus on LGBTI Business, Youth, Maori, Pacific Island, and Asian Communities. Anyone with an interest in joining the Auckland 2016 team should apply to info@aucklandoutgames.com with their CV, or a summary of relevant experience. The closing date for applications is Friday 12 September 2014. Your commitment will be essential to the success of Auckland 2016. Jacqui Stanford and Jay Bennie - 4th September 2014    
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