MELBOURNE will again play host to the annual GLBTIQ Sports Festival at the end of the month, as part of Midsumma Festival.

The event, run by Team Melbourne, aims to encourage play for all irrespective or sexuality or gender orientation.

Team Melbourne president Carolyn Harrison said the festival helps to inspire Victoria’s LGBTI community to get involved in more sport and physical activity.

“Now in its fifth year, the GLBTIQ Sports Festival came about in an effort to better connect the broader GLBTIQ community to our member groups and supporters,” she told the Star Observer.

“The festival is about inspiring the community to connect with each other to discover the many social and personal benefits GLBTIQ-identified sports clubs can provide.

“Not only to participant, but also managers, officials, trainers, coaches, and volunteers.”

The festival is supported and funded by Maribyrnong City Council and will showcase traditional sports such as rugby union, volleyball, swimming, rowing, and tennis, alongside recreational activities such as walking and cycling.

Harrison said she looked forward to seeing new faces at this year’s festival.

“I’m looking forward to building on the success of previous years and welcoming hundreds of participants to enjoy new experiences with our member clubs and partners,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone who identifies as, or has family members or friends who identify as being part of a diverse gender or sexuality, to have a go at sport in an inclusive, safe environment.

“Not only is the festival about bringing together members of the GLBTIQ community for the ultimate come and try day, it’s also the single largest event of its kind in Australia.”

Melbourne’s only LGBTI swimming club, the Glamourhead Sharks, will be one of the teams in attendance on the day.

Glamourhead Sharks member Kodie Webb joined the swim club after attending a previous GLBTIQ Sports Festival two years ago.

Webb had been looking for a way to connect with new people while keeping physically active.

“There shouldn’t be any barriers to playing or excelling in sport and the GLBTIQ Sports Festival gives everyone the chance to participate,” he said.

“The Glamourhead Sharks are looking forward to promoting what we are all about and hopefully recruit some new members along the way.”

The GLBTIQ Sports Festival will be held at Footscray Park on January 30 from 9am–3pm. To register your attendance visit teammelbourne.org.au

The Star Observer is a proud media partner of Midsumma.

RELATED: MIDSUMMA: THE DIRECTOR’S TOP FIVE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FESTIVAL

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