By Mike Hitch
The Glamourhead Sharks and The Melbourne Surge will be jointly hosting the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) Championships at the Melbourne Sports Centres (MSAC) in February.
IGLA is the world’s foremost international organisation solely devoted to developing and promoting LGBTQI swimming, water polo, diving, and synchronised swimming.
Each year IGLA sanctions an International Aquatics Sports Championships in a different international city, with one in every four years coinciding with the long-awaited Gay Games.
Jesse Godfrey from Surge is excited to have IGLA on home soil (and water) in the upcoming months and told Star Observer that queer international competitions not only benefit individuals but strengthen the LGBTQI community both nationally and globally.
“Queer sport is really important because there are so many benefits that we can get personally as individuals from being involved in team and community events,” he said.
“Just letting people know that they’re allowed these sorts of things and it really helps to improve our visibility.
“I really personally enjoyed joining water polo and teams sports. It keeps me physically healthy and socially healthy too. I’ve gone to a few of these events previously overseas, so hosting it in Melbourne is also an opportunity to pay it forward.”
The water polo competitions will be held from Friday 21 February to Tuesday 25 February, with the Melbourne 2020 expecting participation from up to 18 teams across the water polo competitions.
Melbourne 2020 has also asked Water Polo Victoria (WPV) to assist in finding referees for the event and is looking to pay those who can help referee $22 per hour – as well as a free lunch!