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22:11 | 22nd March 2017

News: UK

Mon 20 Aug, 2012
By Robert Ingham


teams of athletes are honing their skills at the handbag toss

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Never mind the Olympics – Gay Sports Day is coming!

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If you've got an Olympic sized itch which you just need to scratch, and you can’t wait for the Paralympics, then don’t despair - the GMFA / RVT Gay Sports Day is just around the corner. Right this moment, teams of athletes are honing their skills at the handbag toss, limbering up for the space hopper relay and sewing on a sequin or two in a bid to win best costume at the biggest, gayest, silliest sporting event of the summer (and yes, we’re including the closing ceremony in that).

The sixth GMFA / RVT Gay Sports Day takes place in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, directly behind the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, on the August Bank Holiday (Monday 27th), with the fun starting at 1pm. The Gay Sports Day is an institution dating back to the 80s and this is the sixth successive year that GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern have joined forces to host the event.

Funds raised by the teams and on the day go to support GMFA’s HIV prevention work for gay men, and two local charities, the Vauxhall City Farm and the Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. This year’s teams include Jedis, Kikis, Pussies and Bears – oh my! To sponsor a team visit www.gmfa.org.uk/gaysportsday.

As in previous years, the events may be light-hearted but the competition is fierce. The 50m mince is sponsored this year by the big beefy Cattle Grid restaurant in Balham. The event is hosted by the wonderful Timberlina with a commentating team that includes the BBC’s voice of swimming and diving, Bob Ballard, fresh from his stint working on the Olympics coverage, and ESPN and Talk Sport rugby commentator Nick Heath, a Sports Day stalwart.

Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, commented: “This year’s Sports Day will give us the opportunity to celebrate Team GB’s record medal haul from the actual Olympics and raise much needed funds for HIV prevention. This year we reckon we’re going to have our biggest Sports Day ever, so expect more fun, frolics and frivolity, and plenty of surprises.”

Following the Sports Day the fun will go on late into the night at the Vauxhall Tavern, with cabaret from the Dame Edna Experience and a fundraising auction, where punters will have the chance to bid on items including a signed Tom Daley photograph, signed underpants donated by Alan Cumming and the star of the hit indie film ‘Weekend’, Chris New. You can also bid to win a bespoke pair of leather chaps or trousers, donated by Expectations, and tickets to Rent at the Cockpit.

The money raised will help support GMFA’s HIV prevention groupwork, which currently receives no government funding, and initiatives such as the Count Me In campaign. Matthew adds: “Sports Day is all about fun, celebration and giving back to the community. From past experience, we’re expecting a big crowd of athletic supporters, and some awesomely costumed teams competing for glory. We hope to see you there.”

You can follow Sports Day on Twitter at: @GaySportsDay.

Videos from past Sports Days are at: www.youtube.com/gmfatv

 

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