• By Jennifer Jones
  • BBC News

April 4, 2024

Updated April 5, 2024

image source, Pride Sports Wales

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Pride Sports Cymru said it looked forward to welcoming the EuroGames to Cardiff in 2027

Europe's largest annual LGBTQ+ multi-sport event will take place in Cardiff in 2027.

The Welsh capital will be the first British city to host the EuroGames.

According to organizers, the event was first created in 1992 in response to discrimination and to promote integration in sport.

Pride Sports Cymru, the team behind Cardiff's successful bid, said it was a great opportunity to show Wales had a welcoming culture.

They said they expected up to 10,000 athletes from across Europe to compete at venues across the city.

Duncan Cameron, chairman of Cardiff Lions, the first gay and inclusive rugby union club in Wales, said it was a “huge benefit to raise the profile of inclusive sport”.

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The first EuroGames were held in The Hague in 1992 and the event in Cardiff in three years will be the 24th edition

“One of the greatest things about the EuroGames is that it is open to everyone, no matter how they identify. No matter who you are, there is a place you can come and play,” he said.

“A lot of people don't know that there are inclusive rugby teams or football teams or any of the other 30 sports that will be the focus of the games here… so it's a great chance for us to show what we can do.” global stage.”

The Cardiff Red Kites, an LGBTQ+ inclusive badminton club, will help host the badminton competitions.

Neil Roberts of the Red Kites said the club offered a “sense of community”.

“It has been proven that many LGBTQ+ people face barriers to accessing sport. So clubs like this just help people enjoy their sport and also stay physically and mentally healthy,” he said.

He added that hosting the EuroGames would hopefully “embed the culture that sport is something that everyone should enjoy, regardless of who they are, who they love, what race or background they are.”

“This is what we want and I really hope the EuroGames will help promote this,” he added.

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Up to 10,000 participants are expected, including some transgender athletes.

Both the Football Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board currently require transgender women to apply to compete in the women's category and consider their applications on a case-by-case basis.

The EuroGames tournament is run by the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation and is a “sport for all” event, meaning it is open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age and ability level.

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Charlotte Galloway said the EuroGames in Cardiff were a great opportunity to show that Wales had a truly inclusive sporting system

Charlotte Galloway, chairwoman of Cardiff Dragons, Wales' first mixed-gender LGBTQ+ football club, said all athletes could compete as their “authentic selves”.

“People are allowed to identify and play with their authentic gender,” she said.

“So that means trans women can play in the women’s category and trans men can play in the men’s category – I think it’s really important that we’re able to do that because there’s no other competition that big in Europe , which allows “gender non-conforming people, trans people, and non-binary people to compete in this way.”

She added: “The fact that we are able to host these games and then provide this platform for trans-inclusive sport here in Wales and therefore in the UK shows other clubs and other teams that sport is a place for trans and Non-trans athletes are binary people.

“It also shows trans and non-binary people that sport is for them too.”

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Jess Williams said the EuroGames in Wales would be transformative for LGBTQ+ people in sport and indeed the wider community

As preparations get underway, thoughts are already turning to what the legacy of the tournament could be.

Jess Williams, who was part of the Pride Sports Cymru team behind the bid, said: “Beyond 2027 we hope this will increase the number of LGBTQ+ people playing sport in Wales.”

“We really want to build a bit of a network of LGBTQ+ leaders in Welsh sport and a EuroGames event in Wales could definitely help to be the catalyst for that and further work in the coming years.”

EuroGames 2024 will take place in Vienna, Austria in July.

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