New Pride House launched for London Olympics

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A new Pride House festival has been launched for the London Olympics at the last minute after a lack of sponsorship meant the original event was cancelled.

Originally planned to go ahead on Clapham Common, it was revealed in April that the event had become “commercially unviable” according to a leaked email.

Now, a new venue in Limehouse has been confirmed as the site for the week-long celebration of LGBT community in sport under the leadership of Pride Sports, a social enterprise for the development of LGBT sport.

The new event has been confirmed with support from the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation, the Federation of Gay Games, GLISA International, the LGBT Consortium, and the Pride House Foundation.

Pride House will be based CA House in Limehouse Basin from 3 to 7 August.

The festival will thereafter continue in various venues until 12 August, the day of the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

The global LGBT community and the public at large will be able to watch live coverage of the London summer Olympics and discuss relevant topics related to LGBT sport at the festival.

Organisers promise live music, exhibits and video presentations, and an associated sports programme, including a Football v Homophobia football tournament.

Lou Englefield, Pride Sports UK Executive Director, said Pride House would “provide a welcoming space for all, from Olympic athletes to recreational sports enthusiasts and spectators”.

She said the aim was “to welcome everyone to learn more about the vibrant LGBT sport movement while celebrating the London games.”

Gay Olympic speed skater and Gay Games Ambassador Blake Skjellerup is supporting the event. He said: “My visit to Pride House during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics was a major influence on my public coming out, and the support I received after doing so was overwhelming. Yet there is still a lack of LGBT based role-models in sport.

“I believe it is important for everyone, and especially young people, to see that no matter who you are or where you come from, you can still succeed and reach your highest levels. The legacy from the London Pride House 2012 for future Olympic Games will make a difference!”

Chad Molleken, chairman of the Pride House Foundation, stated: “Pride House 2012 will continue to build on what began in Vancouver, bringing together the entire community and allies. The Pride House Foundation aims to increase the number of role models in sport by supporting athletes, sports organisations and educational initiatives beyond 2012.”

Pride House 2012 said it would welcome all offers to support the event, either financially or through volunteering and said exact event scheduling is still in progress.

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