May 3, 2023

New and inclusive multisport event, coming to The Trusts Arena

Press Release
New and inclusive multisport event, coming to The Trusts Arena

New and inclusive multisport event, coming to The Trusts Arena (and surrounding venues) in April 2024

Get ready to experience a celebration of diversity, hauora and athleticism like no other! The Rainbow Games Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 2024 is coming to the Trusts Arena (and surrounding venues) from 4-8 April 2024.

This brand new multisport 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. It’s an opportunity to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes and create a more positive and accepting society.

With 13 different sports to choose from, including rugby 7s, netball, badminton, swimming and more, the Rainbow Games Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 2024 is perfect for anyone who loves getting active or simply wants to get involved in a fun and friendly event. For seasoned athletes or complete beginners (aged 18 and above), each sport offers different grades and classifications to ensure everyone has a meaningful experience playing a diverse range of participants from across the Pacific, and beyond.

Other sports include: 5k/10k fun run, basketball 3×3, football 5-a-side, lawn bowls (Bowls3Five), roller derby, tennis, ten-pin bowling, touch and volleyball 4s.

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 Pacific Rainbow Games Trust Board and Rainbow Games Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 2024 Event Director, Tom Leonard, at the launch event (Thursday 20 April)

The inaugural event has also received the backing of respected rainbow sporting talent and this edition’s ambassadors: 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 Saleau (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.

Honey Hireme-Smiler at the event launch
Campbell Johnstone speaks at the event launch

Participants can expect a glittering opening ceremony before four days of sporting action, accompanied by inspirational 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.

So mark your calendars for 4-8 April 2024, and get ready to experience the Rainbow Games Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland 2024. Pre-registration for the event has opened, with the early bird offer set for release in May 2024. View all 14 sports here. Simply click on your favorite sport to find our more and pre-register.

Moreover, you can follow Rainbow Games 2024 on Facebook and Instagram. Let’s celebrate diversity, wellbeing and sport together!

stay up-to-date on all things Rainbow Games. See you in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 2024!