The New Zealand government’s Major Events Fund has taken a monumental step in championing inclusivity and community engagement by committing to support the biennial Rainbow Games Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 2024, 2026 and 2028 with a $2.25 million investment.
This landmark event, which embraces LGBTQI+ community and sports participation, will become a biennial fixture on the New Zealand sports calendar from 2024 to 2028.
Rainbow Games: Where Community and Sport Converge
The Rainbow Games 2024 promises a vibrant celebration of LGBTQI+ (and allies) participation and is rapidly becoming a symbol of acceptance, and appreciation of diversity in sports. Participants from a wide range of backgrounds and orientations will come together to connect and compete in an atmosphere of camaraderie and competition.
“Inclusion is not just about participation; it’s about making space for everyone and creating opportunities for all to reap the many benefits of sport. The New Zealand government’s support ensures that our rainbow of athletes continue to shine in safe and friendly competitions”, says Rainbow Games 2024 Event Director, Tom Leonard.
The inaugural Rainbow Games 2024, scheduled for 4-8 April 2024, will be a spectacular showcase of community sport and inclusivity. For seasoned athletes and complete beginners, the programme of 14 sports boasts a range of social and competitive divisions to give everyone a meaningful experience. Participants will also be treated to an opening ceremony that promises to entertain, alongside a rich arts, culture and social programme to enhance social connections throughout the event. The Games will also host a rangatahi event for youth to encourage them to be more physically active and to be more included as part of the rainbow community.
New Zealand government Support: A Historic Commitment
“The Rainbow Games strongly aligns with the Major Event fund aims of creating social connection while reflecting and celebrating New Zealand culture,” said Manager of New Zealand Major Events, Kylie Hawker-Green.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is a welcoming and inclusive country, we’re confident our investment in the Rainbow Games will strengthen connection and inclusion for Rainbow communities through sport.
“We’re excited to see players take to the sports arena in celebration of diversity and equity.”
“We believe the government’s commitment is more than just financial support; it signifies a strong endorsement of diversity and equality. With this backing, the Rainbow Games will amplify its reach and impact, exemplifying hope and understanding within the sporting community,” said Pacific Rainbow Games Charitable Trust Co-Chair and Rainbow Games 2024 Program Director, Teresa Platt.
“Plans are already in motion to make Rainbow Games 2024 an exceptional event, fostering greater acceptance and participation, with further endorsement by many of the relevant national and regional sports organisations. This biennial gathering will unite LGBTQI+ athletes and allies from across the region, weaving a tapestry of identities, cultures, and sporting achievements.
“We feel the government’s support demonstrates New Zealand's unwavering stance for equity and inclusivity in community sport,” said Pacific Rainbow Games Charitable Trust Co-Chair and Rainbow Games 2024 Program Director, Teresa Platt.
The Rainbow Games organizing committee would also like to extend our sincere gratitude to our event partners, including Russell McVeagh and PURE Athletic. Their combined support has been instrumental in the establishment of the Rainbow Games, and helping to foster inclusion and equality in the community sports arena.
Find out more and register to participate here.