History has repeated for Sydney 2002 Gay Games. Geoffrey Williams’s departure marks the second time a Sydney 2002 chief executive officer has resigned a fortnight after the organisation received a glowing report card from an international Federation of Gay Games meeting.
Sydney 2002’s first CEO Garrie Gibson resigned from the position in November 2000, just two weeks after Federation delegates from all over the world met up in Sydney for their annual conference. That meeting awarded Sydney 2002 an A+ for their progress in areas such as venue preparation and the Games outreach program, and a B+ for their progress in sponsorship acquisition.
However, at the same time that was happening, Gibson left Gay Games.
The then Federation co-president, Bill Wassmer, told Sydney Star Observer some months later that he reacted with shock when hearing of Gibson’s resignation.
Nobody told us until after we’d left town, Wassmer said.
Williams’s resignation comes just two weeks after the Federation’s international conference in Vancouver -“ a meeting in which Sydney 2002’s progress was similarly praised.
Just prior to the -˜100 days to go’ countdown to Nov-ember’s Gay Games VI, the Federation of Gay Games heard an optimistic final report from the Sydney 2002 organisers, the Federation executive members said in a press statement. Registration numbers, sponsorship levels and ticket sales all indicate that Gay Games VI will be successful.
Sydney 2002 co-chair Peter Bailey refused to be drawn on the similarities between Gibson’s and Williams’s departures. However, he made it clear that the board had no problems with Williams’s performance.
I can only speak for the status of the Gay Games as they are today, and that is, the report that we gave in Vancouver was a completely accurate report, Bailey said. We have every aspiration of breaking even. There are contractual obligations we will deliver on. I can’t comment on what happened back then -“ that was six months before I became associated with the board.
Federation of Gay Games executive spokesperson Charlie Carson told the Star yesterday that the Federation believed Williams’s resignation was an internal staffing matter, but that Sydney 2002 had already proven their ability to handle staff transitions.
Carson said Williams had always been gracious and really pleasant during Federation site visits, but stated that the similarities between the two resignations looked like coincidence more than anything.