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23rd Sep 2013

‘Ireland Is Waiting, Do Come and Join Us’ – Taoiseach Enda Kenny Endorses Limerick’s Bid to host 2018 Gay Games

An Taoiseach has lent his support to the bid ahead of the decision on October 7th.

Rebecca McKnight

The bid committee behind Limerick’s bid to host the 2018 Gay Games will find out on Monday October 7th if they have been successful.
 
Limerick, along with London and Paris, is one of three cities on the shortlist to host the 2018 Gay Games. The Gay Games started in San Francisco in 1982 and is held every four years. It is one of the world’s largest sporting and cultural events, lasting over a week with 32 sports alongside cultural activities and opening and closing ceremonies.
 
The Gay Games typically attracts over 10,000 participants from over 70 nations and around 25,000 spectators. Previous host cities include Sydney, Amsterdam, Cologne and New York. A delegation from Team Limerick will travel to Cleveland, Ohio and make a final presentation to members of the Federation of Gay Games at their Annual General Assembly in the host city for next year’s games. The group will spend just over a week in Cleveland where they will also view the venues to be used for the 2014 Gay Games.  
 
The founding principles of the Gay Games are “Inclusion, Participation and Personal Best”. The Gay Games is unique in its emphasis on inclusiveness. People from all walks of life participate together, without regard of sexual orientation, gender, experience, age or physical ability. Amateur athletes participate alongside professionals. In many events, athletes with and without physical disabilities compete alongside each other.
Bid team members Cillian Flynn and Billie – pic by Liam Burke, Press 22
 
Speaking ahead of the trip to Cleveland, Cillian Flynn, Press & Communications Coordinator for the bid said: “Should we be successful on October 7th we believe that hosting the 2018 Gay Games will reinforce the quality of Limerick’s sporting infrastructure and build capacity for organising other major sporting events into the future. We hope the visitors who come to the Games will develop a lifelong affection for Limerick and the region creating a desire to return. Even more importantly, previous host cities have found that the Gay Games generated much greater awareness of diversity issues and provided a platform for marketing their city to LGBT visitors. We also believe that the Games will provide a positive example of diversity which will support inclusion in our city.”
 
Limerick’s bid has recently received further endorsement from Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD who in a letter to the bid committee and the Federation of Gay Games where he guaranteed a tradition Irish welcome for everyone who attends the 2018 event and said “Ireland is waiting, do come and join us”.
 
Also endorsing Limerick’s bid is the team behind Orlando 2018 (the bidding organization led by Converge Orlando and The Central Florida Sports Commission) who lost out on a shortlist spot last June along with Amsterdam.
“We believe a city like Limerick, while still providing the great infrastructure needed for such World event, would be the best positioned of all 3 finalists to keep costs down and increase participation from under-represented countries.” said Converge Orlando’s President & Executive Director Mikael Audebert.
 
The tourism revenue that an event on the sale of the 2018 Gay Games would be a major bonus to Limerick City, County and the entire Shannon Region as an estimated €50 Million will be spent during the games. The knock on effect is also unprecedented, as return trips to Ireland and the possibility of other events similar in size to the Gay Games being held in the Shannon Region become more realistic. All of this of course depends on the Site Selection Committee who will report back to the FGG members and a final vote will be taken in October as Team Limerick travel to Cleveland to hear the results. 
 
The host city announcement will be made on Monday October 7th at approximately 11pm Irish Time. A live video stream will be available online at www.gaygames.org and more details about Limerick’s bid is available at www.limerick2018.com
 
 

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