The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) is a sporting body for athletes in Europe regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It was founded by German and Dutch LGBT sport clubs in 1989 after being inspired by the first Gay Games in San Francisco, United States. Its headquarters are in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Today, EGLSF has more than 120 LGBTIQ sport clubs from all over Europe as members, representing more than 22.000 European athletes.
Since 1992, the EGLSF celebrates a huge European inclusive sports event once a year: the EuroGames. Since 2016, the EuroGames can take place every year if the delegates of the AGA select a successful host city. Past EuroGames have had a little as 1,400 participants, right up to 4,436 participants. In 2019, the EuroGames will be held in Rome, Italy. Registration will open in late 2017.
The European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) was founded in 1989. Its aims are to:
1.fight against discrimination in sport on grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation
2.stimulate integration in sport and emancipation of athletes regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation
3.enable and support the coming out of athletes
4.exchange information and enable co-ordination between European sport groups and tournaments
5.support the founding of new gay/lesbian/bisexual/straight/transgendered/queer and mixed sport groups
We are a federation which is open to gay, lesbian, straight and mixed sport groups and organizations. At the moment this network has more than 22,000 members within over 115 organisations and sport groups. In the EGLSF all member organisations are autonomous: the Federation is operating as a servicing and co-ordinating body.
We promote, amongst other things, the organisation of EuroGames, the European Gay & Lesbian Championships. The last EuroGames 2016 were held in Helsinki, Finland. The next games will be held in Rome, Italy in 2019.
Our members are invited to join the General Assembly. This annual Assembly is the highest decision making body of the Federation. The members of the EGLSF board are elected (for three years) by the General Assembly. The AGA 2019 will be in Budapest.
SPORT FOR ATHLETES REGARDLESS OF YOUR GENDER IDENTITY OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION
You may ask:
Why is it necessary to have special events and sports groups just for this community? The reasons vary from one country to another, since every country in Europe is different. However, most of us know it is not easy to come out about your sexuality in a ‘regular’ sports group. Some may even have been in situations where they felt harassed, were called names, or worse. They may have felt that by being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender they were not accepted by their fellow club members. Our sports groups experience the same discrimination when they want to compete in regular events or join existing sports associations. Did you know that in some countries it isn’t possible to rent a volleyball court if you say it’s for a sexually diverse event? We think this is not acceptable. Sport is supposed to be fun and open to everyone.
We therefore need to work towards a climate in sports where people can be what they are, of their own free will, regardless of their self-identifications. The EGLSF works towards that goal, together with LGBTIQ mainstream organisations, like ILGA and others, as well as with European institutions like the European Council and the European Union.
Please Note: It is very important to respect people’s desired self-identifications. One should never assume another person’s identity based on that person’s appearance. It is always best to ask people how they identify, including what pronouns they prefer, and to respect their wishes.
European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) carries out several activities; generally (but not limited) in the fields of:
1.organising sports events – EuroGames;
2.hosting and participating in human rights conferences;
3.managing information resource websites and social media;
4.carrying out special (EU) projects, focusing on human rights in and through sport;
5.pursuing advocacy and activism work;
6.supporting our member organisations throughout Europe;
7.cooperating with partner organisations, institutions and other stakeholders.
The idea of organizing EuroGames was born after the second Gay Games in San Francisco 1986. The first EuroGames took place in The Hague in 1992, and the last EuroGames were held in 2012 in Budapest, Hungary as the 14th edition. The annual general assembly of the EGLSF decides which bidding club or city is going to organize the EuroGames, and in order to make it possible for smaller cities to arrange such games, EuroGames are organised as either “big” or “small”, i.e. the number of sports offered is limited (usually alternates). Visit the EuroGames website for more history and information.
HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCES
Bringing together experts from different fields, educating and raising awareness, sharing best practices, enabling networking and advocating human rights is also one of the activities of EGLSF, and this is often done by organising or participating in various human rights conferences, workshops, trainings, study sessions and other educational events.
INFO WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
As a network of sports groups, we focus on their needs, and also offer services to individual athletes in Europe. You can check out our sports calendar and add your event or tournament so that others can see what you are up to!
1.Sports News, Events & Links. We publish current news plus a calendar of all scheduled events in Europe. If you check out the online version, you will also find events outside Europe.
EGLSF is also present on Social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube (and we are also exploring others).
EGLSF ADVOCACY WORK AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
In order to abolish discrimination against LGBT people in sports EGLSF is doing lobby work within the Council of Europe. As an official NGO we enjoy participatory status with the CoE. Other examples of advocay work:
EGLSF – European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation is and has been actively involved in several international projects ; here is a highlight of some of them:
YOUTH IN ACTION
Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union; the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) manages implementation of policies and activities. In 2013, EGLSF received support in terms of operational grant for its activities in the field of youth and young adults (13 to 30). The funding programme will in the future be encompassed under the new Erasmus+ programme.
EGLSF carries out several activities for and with youth, working together with our partners – member clubs, European network of non-governmental youth sport organisations – ENGSO Youth, International Lesbian and Gay Youth Organisation (IGLYO) and others.
PRIDE IN SPORT
As part of its Preparatory Actions in the field of Sport, The European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) received funding from the European Commission within the Preparatory Actions is the Field of Sport, to run a series of projects and actions to tackle discrimination in sport against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons. The EU funding period covered September 2011 to March 2013. The objectives of the Pride in Sport project were as follows:
1.To raise awareness and understanding of homophobia and practice which discriminates against lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people in sport;
2.To enhance the capacity of LGBT sports groups and networks both on a local/national/pan-European level to share knowledge and contribute to the debate on best practice in LGBT inclusion in sport;
3.To promote LGBT human rights through sport, bridging the gap between new member states in the East and old member states in the West;
4.To improve networks of those working to combat homophobia and promote LGBT inclusion in sport across Europe – including grass roots organisations, Sports Governing Bodies and campaigning organisations.
More info: www.prideinsport.info
FOOTBALL FOR EQUALITY
The project “Football for Equality – Challenging racist and homophobic stereotypes in and through football” is a European initiative carried out by various partner organisations of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network and led by FairPlay-VIDC in Vienna. The project kicked off in November 2009 and was continued until June 2012. The initiative was co-funded by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme of the European Commission.
The Football for Equality-project aimed at:
1.using the popularity and universality of football, as a unique entry point to raise awareness on racism and related intolerances (xenophobia, islamophobia, anti-Roma racism and anti-Semitism) and on homophobia.
2.to address and link areas of combating racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism on the one hand and the fight against homophobia on the other hand.
3.to promote and improve intercultural understanding and tolerance in particular among young people in the European Union.
More info: www.footballforequality.org
Summary of other projects is still under preparation; thank you for your understanding.
In order to abolish discrimination against LGBT people in sports EGLSF is doing lobby work within the Council of Europe. As an official NGO we enjoy participatory status with the CoE
THE RESULTS OF EGLSF EFFORTS AT THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE ARE:
a) Official Statement of CoE sportministers on Sport and Fair Play & Tolerance (with for the first time ever) including recognition of the combat against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation within sport. (Nicosia, 27 Apr 2001)
b) Approved CoE motion for a recommendation on homophobia in sport.
c) Official Report on homophobia in sport by the Parliamentary Assembly CoE, including Recommendations.
d) Decision by the Committee of Ministers on the Recommendations.
Further the EGLSF is working as a core-partner of Football Against Racism Europe (FARE) to tackle discrimination and homophobia in football.
OUR HISTORY OF ADVOCAY WORK
Discrimination is regrettably still a common problem within the gay and lesbian sport community. In October 1994 the EGLSF published: “A Documentation on the Discrimination of Gays and Lesbians in Sports”. In this report a total of 25 examples of discrimination were outlined. The range of discrimination varies from excluding gay and lesbian athletes from participating in sports events to open, or hidden violence, mobbing and psychological pressure. Since then many additional cases have been reported. These cases were published in an update of the document called ““Off Side”” in 1999. It was presented at the Building Bridges conference in The Hague. “Offside” was distributed to all sport federations, the European Committee, the European Parliament, the European Council in Strasbourg and the organisers of the European Conference on Sport and Tolerance. One of the EGLSF’s main tasks is to put its finger on those cases of discrimination and homophobia and to raise awareness on this important issue in the world of sports. The EGLSF lobbies for setting and acknowledging the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender in sports and therefore strives to be involved in all international declarations or agreements to fight discrimination of all sorts and against anyone, no matter whether he or she is gay, bi- or heterosexual.
Here you can find an overview of the most visible conferences and educational events organised or co-organised by the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) in the past:
Pride in Sport – Final project conference
At the UEFA conference “unite against racism” in Barcelona in the beginning of 2006 a workshop on homophobia was held by EGLSF. For the first time ever UEFA acknowledges the existence of homophobia in football. The workshop was a big success. Delegates from many European Football Associations did participate in the workshop. Speakers were John Blankenstein (UEFA referee), Lucy Faulkner (English FA), Marianne Meier (Swiss Development), Tanja Walther (EGLSF). The workshop was chaired by Pepe García Vázquez (EGLSF). The support from FARE made it possible to create a paper on homophobia in football: KICK IT OUT (www.kickitout.org). The paper was presented at the conference in Barcelona. The outcome of the conference is a good practice guide for clubs Tackling racism in club football [pdf]. The guide includes 2 pages on “Dealing with homophobia and sexism”, and it is available in different languages.
AGAINST THE RULES – LESBIANS AND GAYS IN SPORT
The issue of gay and lesbian participation in sport is still a taboo subject that is usually only talked about behind closed doors, but rarely discussed in the open. There is hardly a single area of society in which the participation of homosexuals seems as abnormal as in sport. Even though society’s attitudes to sexuality have changed, the assumption still remains that sport and homosexuality do not mix; lesbians and gay men are still largely ignored or openly rejected in sport. However, the situation is slowly changing. Various social developments like the fact that sport is becoming a leisure activity rather than a form of physical training, the emancipation of women, the emergence of a gay and lesbian movement are starting to have an impact on sport, with the result that, even here, homosexuality can no longer be swept completely under the carpet. Against the Rules – Lesbians and Gays in Sport, an exhibition presented by the acceptance campaign office of the ministry for youth, family and health of the North Rhine-Westphalia regional government and organised jointly by SC Janus, Cologne’s Centrum Schwule Geschichte (Gay History Centre) and others, represented an initial appraisal of the subject. It was updated by the European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) in 2010 and translated into English. The exhibition, opened on May 4, 2010 in Berlin, does not claim to be exhaustive, but aims to help remove the taboos from the subject of homosexuality and sport, and draw attention to the various forms of discrimination against sexual minorities in sport. In 2012, within the programme Football for Equality, the exhibition was updated again and translated in several European languages (currently available in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Slovenian, Slovak, Spanish). The exhibition consists of 37 banners in total, giving introduction and information on elite athletes, discrimination, lesbian & gay clubs & federations, Gay Games, OutGames, EuroGames and portraying LGBT athletes Amelie Mauresmo, Babe Didrickson, Billie Jean King, Bob Paris, David Kopay, Gottfried von Cramm, Greg Louganis, Heinz Bonn, Ian Roberts, Imke Duplitzer, John Blankenstein, Judith Arndt, Justin Fashanu, Marcus Urban, Marie Carsten, Mark Tewksbury, Martina Navratilova, Otto Peltzer, Parinya Kiatbusaba, and Tom Waddell. The exhibition Against the Rules – Lesbians and Gays in Sport is a travelling exhibition by EGLSF. You can also rent the exhibition in several languages free of charge and show the exhibition yourself. You only have to pay for transportation costs.
For information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EGLSF is proud to award Honorary Membership to the following persons for their exceptional service and contribution to our organisation. The individuals listed below have made outstanding contributions to enhancing the LGBTIQ sports movement in Europe, and we a stronger organisation because of them.
Sandro Pfau 
Mano Fabistas 
Conny Hendrik Kempe-Schälicke 
Ben Baks 
John Blankenstein 
Pepe Garcia-Vasquez 
Johan Van de Ven 
Tanja Walther-Ahrens 
Lou Englefield 
Juha Meronen 
Atlasz Sports Club
BAGS – Bulgarian Association Gay Sport
BGS Brussels Gay Sports
Club Esportiu Les Panteres Grogues
Düsseldorf Dolphins e.V.
Dutch Gay and Lesbian Athletics
Einsteiger e.V. Ringen Berlin
European Same-Sex Dance Association (ESSDA)
Flaming Feathers Badminton Club
FSGL – Fédération Sportive Gaie et Lesbienne
FVV – Frankfurter Volleyball Verein
Gay and Lesbian Sport Bern (GLSBe)
Gay Forcing Bridge Amsterdam
Gay Sportsclub Ketelbinkie
Gay Swim Spetters
Gay Swimming Club Nat Utrecht
LEAP Sports Scotland
London Spikers Knights Volleyball Club
Out in Slovenija
Out to Swim
Pan Idræt Copenhagen
Pan Idræt Frederiksberg
RainBow Tennis e.V.
RoMan Volley ASD
Rosa Panther SLSV Nürnberg e.V.
Russian LGBT Sport Federation
SC AufRuhr e.V.
SLS “Der Bogenschütze” Dresden e.V.
Sportclub Gayus (Zwolle)
Športový klub Lotosové kvety
Startschuss Schwul/Lesbischer Sportverein Hamburg e.V.
Stockholm Dolphins Swimclub
Team berlin e.V.
Uferlos schwul-lesbischer Sportverein Karlruhe
VC Phönix Düsseldorf
Village Manchester Football Club
Vorspiel SSL Berlin e.V.
Warszawski Klub Pilki Siatkowej VOLUP
Bilitis Resource Center Foundation
Deutscher Verband für Equality-Tanzsport e.V.
Federation of Gay Games
Gay Sport Nijmegen
Gay Union Through Sports
John Blankenstein Foundation
Jon Landa Diestro
Queer Football Fanclubs
Tim Van Hoydonck
Last updated: 11/03/2018
*Please note that this list is being constantly updated. If you have paid your membership or renewed it recently then your club/name will appear soon. If you still do not see you club, please contact email@example.com
The European Gay and Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF) is a European-wide organisation for the pursuit of:
1.open and active participation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex Queer and those with non-binary identities in the sporting world;
2.the protection of their sporting rights: rights of access, equal participation, equitable share in sport governance and representation;
3.the fight against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC)
4.the strengthening and empowering of the sporting communities in its widest sense and in its diversity including Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ)
5.the promotion and development of sporting opportunities and the wellbeing of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer and non-binary communities.
EGLSF STATUTES 2016 (last change at EGA 2016)
EGLSF BY-LAWS 2016 (last change at AGA 2016)