LGBT Sport and Recreation Showcased at Pride 2012

6 July 2012
Sand Sharks Beach Volleyball at SportZone 2012
Sand Sharks Beach Volleyball at SportZone 2012

Toronto’s LGBT Athletic Community was out in full force during Pride 2012 with the second annual OUTSPORT TORONTO SportZone

Sixteen of OUTSPORT TORONTO's member associations participated in what was the largest gathering of the LGBT athletic and recreation community that has ever been seen at Toronto Pride. "It was an outstanding success," said Julian DiBattista, OUTSPORT TORONTO's Director for Community Outreach, and this year's SportZone committee chair. "There is no way we could have done it without the help of every organisation that participated."

A passer-by learning a bit of roping technique at the CCGRA booth.
A passer-by learning a bit of roping technique at the CCGRA booth.

There were events for all to enjoy from learning to lasso with the Central Canada Gay Rodeo Association, trying to show how accurate you can throw a football with the Toronto Gay Football League, and busting a few moves with Rainbow Ballroom. 

The second annual OUTSPORT TORONTO SportZone nearly doubled in size over last year, and gave great exposure to all member 

organisations of OUTSPORT TORONTO.  "I caught myself grinning more than once seeing all the activity throughout the SportZone," said OUTSPORT TORONTO's Chair Shawn Sheridan.  "We really want to show everyone that there are really great ways to get out and be active and fit, and find community, acceptance, and celebration through sport and recreation."

OutSport Toronto directors carrying the banner in front of the sport and rec contingent in the parade.
OutSport Toronto directors carrying the banner in front of the sport and rec contingent in the parade.

A new feature this year was a booth exclusively dedicated to opportunities for Women in LGBT Sport.  This booth received a great deal of attention and raised awareness of opportunities that exist for LGBT women to participate in sport and recreation in Toronto. "We had a lot of 

Out and Out's colourful balloon arch marking the entrance to their booth.
Out and Out's colourful balloon arch marking the entrance to their booth.

interest, which is really great," reported Catherine Meade, Director of OUTSPORT TORONTO, who worked the booth for a portion of the Community Fair.

Closing off the weekend, OUTSPORT TORONTO and its member organisations had the opportunity to lead the 2012 Pride Parade right after the Grand Marshals, showcasing LGBT sport to the audience of over a million people watching from the streets and at home on TV.

Interest at the Women's Booth - someone getting more information about how to get involved.
Interest at the Women's Booth - someone getting more information about how to get involved.
Talking to potential new player at the Toronto Gay Hockey Association booth
Talking to potential new player at the Toronto Gay Hockey Association booth
Allies - Brian Burke with the OutSport Toronto team just before the parade starts.
Allies - Brian Burke with the OutSport Toronto team just before the parade starts.
Rider at the PWA Friends for Life Bike Rally booth.
Rider at the PWA Friends for Life Bike Rally booth.
Hot enough?  Downtown Swim Club members cooling off passers-by with a bit of water in front of their booth.
Hot enough?  Downtown Swim Club members cooling off passers-by with a bit of water in front of their booth.