LGBTQ+ EuroGames to be held in the UK for the first time

A female-presenting athlete with a medal holding a rainbow flag

Cardiff has been chosen to host the EuroGames in 2027, marking the first time the LGBTQ+-inclusive event has been held in the UK.

LGBTQ+ sports development and inclusion organisation, Pride Sports Cymru, has been successful in ensuring that Europe’s largest LGBTQ+ sporting event would be staged in the Welsh capital.

The first EuroGames, governed by the European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation, was held in The Hague in The Netherlands in 1992 and this year’s event will be staged in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in July.

Up to 10,000 athletes, including transgender sportsmen and women, are expected to descend on Cardiff in 2027.

The chairperson of Cardiff Dragons – Wales’ first mixed gender LGBTQ+ football club – Charlotte Galloway told the BBC: “People are allowed to identify and play in their authentic gender. 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 this because there’s no other competition this big in Europe that allows gender-non-conforming people, trans people and non-binary people to compete this way.”

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It shows that sport is for everyone, she added.

Duncan Cameron, the chairperson of gay and inclusive rugby union club Cardiff Lions, said: “One of the greatest things about the EuroGames is that it’s open to anybody, no matter how they identify, no matter who you are.

“A lot of people don’t know that there are inclusive rugby teams or football teams [and lots of other] sports that are going to be highlighted. It’s a great chance for us to show what we can do on a national and global stage.”

And Neil Roberts, from LGBTQ+-inclusive badminton club the Cardiff Red Kites, responded to the news by saying the games could help “embed the culture that sport is something everyone should enjoy, regardless of who they are, who they love, what race or what background they come from”.

Meanwhile, Pride Sports director Lou Englefield said: “We’re delighted to be bringing a EuroGames to Wales. It is a huge privilege. [It’s] an opportunity to highlight Wales’ commitment to become the most LGBTQ+-friendly nation in Europe.”

Pride Sports team member Jess Williams, added: “A EuroGames in Wales will be transformative for LGBTQ+ people in sport, and indeed the whole community. The legacy the games will create, and opportunity for positive change, is enormous.”

The chief executive of the Welsh Sports Association, Andrew Howard, congratulated Pride Sports Cymru on its successful bid. “The event will undoubtedly prove a celebration and awe-inspiring showcase of inclusive sport, in a first for Cardiff and the UK,” he said.