If Team Sydney has its way, Mardi Gras 2008 will be about more than just sweaty bodies on the dancefloor, three-day benders, and the demolition of brain cells.
The Team Sydney vision would see a multitude of sporting events crop up around the city for the three-week Mardi Gras festival, from hockey and netball to every spectator’s favourite, beach volleyball.
And while no one wants to minimise the importance of the annual parade and much-loved party, Team Sydney officers have been working hard to provide an alternative option for the health-nuts and sports-mad among us.
The organising of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival of 2008 is still under way. However, Team Sydney, a representative body for gay and lesbian sporting associations, has already booked a number of events during February and March.
Freezone Volleyball president Wally Salinger said for many gay and lesbian people, Team Sydney’s Sports Festival is the only event they attend, and although it has been successful the event needed more community support.
“What could be nicer than enjoying a wine on the sidelines of a hockey tournament?” he asked.
“What about picking up a tennis racquet for the first time in 10 years in the glorious Sydney summer, or playing or watching an indoor event such as badminton, volleyball, basketball, soccer and tenpin bowling?”
Salinger has encouraged community members and their friends to take part in or attend one of the many events available during the Mardi Gras season.
A tug-of-war will be held on 18 February at Fair Day, hockey will take place on 24 Feb at UNSW and self-defence kung fu begins on 17 February.
A netball carnivalesque will be held on 11 February, the cycle tour leaves on 18 February, and tenpin bowling is slated for 26 February.
The Sydney Frontrunners 5km fun run and walk kicks off on 24 February, along with fun run rogaine (a cross-country navigation event) and Freezone Volleyball’s Mardi Gras tournament.
The beloved Little Black Dress Fun Run leaves Paddington on 10 February, the Sydney body art ride on 11 February and water polo demonstrations and competitions will be held on Fair Day.
To get involved, list your event, or for more information, go to www.teamsydney.org.au.

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