The Asia Pacific chapter of the Gay and Lesbian International Sporting Association (GLISA) last month visited Wellington and gave the New Zealand capital the thumbs-up as it prepares for the 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames in 2011.

“We have been impressed with the highly skilled and committed team of volunteers who are scoping and preparing for the Outgames. It’s a huge undertaking and the planning is well advanced, with many exciting ideas to make this a unique games,” GLISA Asia Pacific’s Nick Ward and Peter Sagar said in a joint statement.

“There is a huge amount of community support and excitement for the 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames in Wellington.”

The 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames is intended to be a ‘whole of community’ event, featuring sport, culture and human rights events. At this early stage, Outgames organisers are proposing a program including 16 sports, a human rights conference and an arts and cultural festival, with parties and celebrations throughout the week of the games. Dignity, Respect & Security: Strong Queer Voices in Asia and the Pacific has been announced as the theme for the human rights conference.

Planned for March 12-19 2011, the Games will follow the success of the 1st Asia Pacific Outgames, held in Melbourne in January 2008. A total of 1800 participants representing 21 countries helped to make the Melbourne event a resounding success.

If 2011 seems a long way away, prospective participants can get involved now: you can meet representatives from Wellington 2011 at Melbourne’s Midsumma Carnival on January 17, and at Sydney’s Fair Day on February 21 — just look out for the Outgames stall. It’s a good chance to chat with those in the know about what the games have to offer.

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