Rainbow Games Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 2024 will be a new, inclusive multi-sport event, taking place at the Trusts Arena (and surrounding venues) from 4-8 April 2024.
This brand new multi-sport event is designed for the LGBTQI+ communities and its allies, a chance for everyone to come together, celebrate, and compete in a safe and supportive environment.
Rainbow Games will have 14 different sports to choose from, including rugby sevens, netball, badminton, swimming, 5k and 10K fun runs, basketball, football 5-a-side, lawn bowls, roller derby, softball, tennis, ten-pin bowling, touch rugby, and volleyball.
For seasoned athletes to beginners, each sport will offer different grades and classifications to ensure everyone has a meaningful experience playing with a diverse range of participants from across the Pacific and beyond.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing the Rainbow Games to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. This event is all about celebrating diversity, promoting equity, social inclusion, and empowering the LGBTQI+ communities to participate. We want to create a space where everyone feels welcome and supported, no matter who they are or where they’re from”, says Pacific Rainbow Games Trust Co-Chair, Teresa Platt.
“Sports is for everyone, and the Rainbow Games is uniquely positioned to showcase how this can be done. We see a future where Takatāpui, MVPFAFF, and our wider Rainbow Communities are actively pursuing pathways in sports and recreation. This is a step towards achieving better health outcomes
for Rainbow communities and we’re hoping for buy-in from every sector to help make this event a success”, says Pacific Rainbow Games Trust Co-Chair Brad Christensen.
The inaugural event has also received the backing of respected rainbow sporting talent Campbell Johnstone (the first openly gay All Black), Honey Hireme-Smiler (openly gay former Black Fern, Kiwifern and current sports commentator), Kate Weatherly (transgender mountain biker), Hugo Chou (recently out under-19 national badminton player) and Jaiyah Saelua (transgender football player, American Samoa).
“I took the step to come out publicly in the hope to normalize the idea of a gay All Black and help others see that they too can realise their goals, knowing that they are not determined by your sexuality, race, or religion. These Games offer an invaluable opportunity for the rainbow community to get involved, make new friends, break the mould, and rekindle a relationship with sport”, says Rainbow Games ambassador, Campbell Johnstone.
“As a teenager, I always felt like a bit of an outsider and to see the Rainbow Games happening is important on so many levels. Sport empowered me to be the best version of myself. The visibility and opportunity to play in a safe and inclusive environment are invaluable for today’s youth, so here is a chance for the community to get involved, challenge themselves and inspire others”, says Rainbow Games ambassador, Honey Hireme-Smiler.
Participants can expect a glittering opening ceremony before six days of sporting action, accompanied by arts and culture activations across the week. Spectators will also be invited to embrace the atmosphere and show their support before the week is rounded out with a closing ceremony.
Photos | Pacific Rainbow Games Trust.