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Gold medal achievements

Pre-COVID Spring

In February, Sporting Pride and TENI joined forces to host a workshop on transphobia in Irish sport. A panel discussion, which included Sport Ireland’s Diversity and Inclusion officer and transgender athletes, provided space for an honest discussion on how we can make sport more diverse and inclusive of everyone.

Summertime Events

As part GCN’s In And Out festivities, an online webinar - //Standing Proud: My Life as an Elite LGBTQ+ Athlete// - was hosted by the fantastic Anna Nolan during the Dublin Pride celebrations. Nikki Symmons and Donal Óg Cusack provided insight into the lived experiences of out and proud sports people. This webinar can still be found on the Sporting Pride website and the GCN YouTube page for those who missed it!

The wonderful team at LINC ran a successful Stride with Pride event to connect community members and their families through physical activity. Teams covered the distance from Dublin to Cork to raise funds for LINC’s counselling service. The event was a huge success and shows how powerful community connection can be in times of need.

Back on the east coast, the Dublin Frontrunners fundraised through their participation in the Run the Libertines virtual run, making over €1500 for St James’ Hospital Foundation in honour of their member Kieran, who passed away.

Sports Filled Autumn Days

Although the summer is generally the most popular season for sports, plenty was happening throughout Autumn. Two new LGBTQ+ sports clubs have been established! Na Gael Aeracha are Ireland’s first LGBTQ+ inclusive GAA club and their aim is to create a safe space for everyone to partake. They hope to have at least one team in each of the four codes. If you would like to find out more you can email dublinlgbtqgaa@gmail.com. The Cork Hellhounds are a new and inclusive rugby club who have recently kicked off their face-to-face training sessions. Anyone interested in joining can email rugby@gayproject.ie for further information.

Rugby had a very controversial year after World Rugby announced their decision not to allow transgender women to participate in elite and international rugby. There was major backlash from those advocating for transgender rights and supportive sports organisations. In response, as part of Sporting Pride’s #GetOutGetActive campaign, rugby was the primary focus for the month of October with Dublin’s Emerald Warriors and the Belfast Azlan’s proudly flying the flag for inclusive rugby.

Finally, an online webinar with Athletics Ireland - //Standing Proud: My Life as an Elite LGBTQ+ Marathon Runner// with Aoife Cooke - once again shone the spotlight on an elite Irish athlete sharing their story to inspire others. The Cork-based marathon runner is a magnificent ambassador for the sport and is encouraging other members of the LGBTQ+ community to take up athletics and reap the benefits of physical activity.

Winter is Here!

The month of December started on a positive note with Stonewall’s rainbow laces gracing the pitch at Croke Park for the first time at a senior men’s game. Referee, David Gough, led the way as players from both the Tipperary and Mayo football teams wore the laces to show support for LGBTQ+ participation in sport.

For those interested in combining socialising with physical activity Walk and Talk events have begun in Limerick, aimed at getting members of the LGBTQ+ community meeting for social strolls! If you’re interested in joining please email lgbt@goshh.ie

Looking Ahead

Although it’s difficult to make plans, some things are worth thinking about when it comes to fitness goals for the next 12 months. Triathlon Ireland’s #TriWithPride duathlon training programme will be launched via our free online webinar on January 13th, with training beginning on January 18th! To find out more please contact info@sportingpride.ie

Over on the West Coast, Galway Community Pride/Bród na Gaillimhe are holding a virtual Pride 5K Challenge on Sunday January 3, and are asking people to get involved however they can to complete 5K on the day, via running, walking or other means. All are encouraged to take part, and to come together virtually by posting or sending in photos and tagging #GalwayWinterPride5K. Check out Eventbrite, and Bród na Gaillimhe’s social media pages for more information.

Keep an eye out for more information on 2021 events in partnership with Swim Ireland and TENI, Irish Sailing, and Out2Tennis with the support of Tennis Ireland!

This article appears in the 366 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 366 Issue of GCN