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Wellington named for Outgames 2011

Wed 29 Oct 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Over 1,000 gay, lesbian and transgender participants from around Asia and the Pacific are expected to visit Wellington for the 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames in March 2011. Sporting chance: Georgina Beyer discusses the Outgames bid document with Wellington2011's Kevin Haunui. Wellington has been named the "preferred host city" for the multi-sport event, which was first held in Melbourne this year. In addition to sporting competitions held over a week, there will also be a major human rights conference and a variety of cultural events. "We're delighted to have the chance to bring this big event to Wellington, and to showcase the whole region," says Kevin Haunui, spokesperson for Wellington2011, the group which made the bid. "We received wide encouragement and support from many people when we put the bid together." The bid document included letters of support from all levels of government, including both the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition, local MPs, former MP Georgina Beyer, national and regional tourism bodies. The core sports set so far are running, swimming, tennis, volleyball, softball, and dancesport. Other sports being investigated for possible inclusion, on either a competitive or demonstration basis, include rugby, netball, water polo, rowing, squash, golf and mountain biking. The Outgames concept is not just a gay/lesbian version of the Olympics, the Wellington2011 team explains. "Rather than focusing on competitive sportspeople already at the top of their game, the Outgames aims to encourage wide participation in the community, to get people to try new sports and push their personal limits." The proposed dates for the games are Saturday 12 March to Saturday 19 March 2011, combining four days of sports with three days of conference while simultaneously hosting a full week of cultural activities. The formal signing of agreements with the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association will take place shortly. The Wellington2011 team are now very keen to hear from people who have particular skills who would like to contribute a few hours. “We need more hands in the finance area, legal area, marketing, sponsorship or fundraising, and we need someone happy to act as secretary for meetings," explains David Hindley. "These are great opportunities for people to get involved at the start and have a fantastic experience leading up to the Games themselves." The Wellington2011 team can be contacted through David Hindley via email at    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 29th October 2008 - 5:13pm

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