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Door open to Outgames or alternative event

Thu 20 Aug 2015 In: Out Games News View at Wayback View at NDHA

While acknowledging there is a big challenge ahead, GLISA Asia Pacific is keeping the door wide open for the Asia Pacific Outgames to go ahead in Auckland in February. The event’s future has been in question due to the withdrawal of the Auckland Outgames 2016 Inc, when its Board stepped down and asked for the organisation to be dissolved. That Board wanted the Outgames to be pushed forward to a later date, rather than have it coincide as planned with Auckland Pride Festival, due to concerns about a lack of funding and sponsorship cash. That left GLISA Asia Pacific (GLISA-AP) without a licensed organising committee. However a group has emerged which remains committed to ensuring a scaled-back Outgames still happens in Auckland. A teleconference was held to discuss the situation on Tuesday night, which GLISA AP says included “comprehensive, constructive and honest discussions”. Spokesman for the current Auckland organising team Craig Watson presented the work to date, model and proposals for the event. GLISA AP says the discussion has encouraged it to continue working with Mr Watson and the host city for a community-based event. "To give certainty to those who have booked or are considering going, we have asked the new Auckland committee to give us the budget, list of sports, human rights and cultural events (scaled down), and operational plans to make the Outgames a raging success by the 31 August, with registrations hopefully opening on 4 September,” says GLISA AP spokesman Adam Fitzgerald. “Any later than that and it's going to be hard to give people confidence. We want to back Auckland to pull it off, but we have to balance this with due diligence to ensure success and an enjoyable Outgames for all.” GLISA-AP says its members will keep helping by obtaining accurate participant data so it can forecast a successful games model. It expects to begin collecting the data within the next week. “Despite the last ditch community enthusiasm, there is still a big challenge ahead,” Fitzgerald says. “It is incumbent upon GLISA-AP to make sure a community based games would work. While we are very willing to pull out all stops to back our members' feedback, and the expressed desire of another new group of Auckland leaders in stepping up to organise the Outgames, we are very clear that there must be a high quality event with great venues, high participant numbers and robust organisational arrangements. “We are working closely with the new team to support and assist in every way we can." The GLISA-AP team says it appreciates the efforts of those in Auckland “who are facing the challenge and difficulty this type of event has had”, and their vision and commitments in mobilising the local LGBTI community. "Auckland have got significant challenges, but with the new team involved, I'm hoping we can start an 'I'm backing Auckland' social media campaign to kickstart more community action and support,” says Peter Sagar, who was co-President of the Melbourne Outgames in 2008. Meanwhile, if the GLISA conditions are unable to be met Watson this morning said "a number of sports are sorted and ready to go, have backing from clubs, and will likely hold competitions in February whether they are under the Asia Pacific Outgames umbrella or not." Daily News staff - 20th August 2015

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 20th August 2015 - 3:28pm

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