Bids representing UK’s two most populous cities submitted for Europe’s biggest inclusive multi-sports event; Pride Sports and Out For Sport are the two organisations leading the bids for Birmingham and London respectively; Vienna also in contention for both editions, with Lyon entered for 2025
The prospect of a first-ever EuroGames in the UK has moved closer with confirmation of bids from Birmingham and London for 2024 and 2025 respectively.
After a successful 18th edition of the continental multisports event, held in Copenhagen and Malmo in August – and with Nijmegen 2022 and Bern 2023 already locked in for the next two – the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation invited bids for the subsequent stagings.
On Saturday, bids for 2024 from Birmingham and Vienna were confirmed as having been received by EGLSF, who added that Vienna had also applied for 2025, alongside London and Lyon.
The winning entrants are due to be announced by December 31, 2021.
The organisation behind the Birmingham bid is Pride Sports, which is seeking to deliver the event as part of the Pride House Birmingham 2022 legacy programme. If successful, it will see an estimated 5,500 participants joining together across the city to compete in 23 different sports. The programme aims to be the most diverse yet and will include parasport as well as opportunities for all gender identities to compete.
Meanwhile, Out For Sport – the umbrella organsiation linking LGBTQ+-inclusive sports clubs across London and the South East – is the bidder for the capital’s submission.
EuroGames began in The Hague in 1992 with around 300 athletes competing, but now attracts thousands of participants as well as spectators, generating significant income for the local economy. To date, cities in 11 different European nations have hosted the event – this year’s in Copenhagen also formed part of WorldPride – but the UK is yet to join that list.
Lou Englefield, director of Pride Sports, said of the Birmingham 2024 bid: “We have worked together with Birmingham City Council, UK sport’s national governing bodies and local LGBTIQ+ sports clubs to bring together what we believe is an extremely strong bid.
“We want not only to host a fantastic, well-organised event, as a celebration of LGBTIQ+ sporting enjoyment and excellence, but also to build the participation in sport and physical activity of LGBTIQ+ people in the West Midlands.”
Legacy from Pride House Birmingham – the LGBTIQ+ community welcome space for the 2022 Commonwealth Games – is a key component of the bid. PHB is being developed and delivered by a local team, which includes LGBTIQ+ community leaders Piero Zizzi and Neil Basterfield.
For more information about the Birmingham 2024 bid, email info@PrideHouseBham.org.uk
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