The gay sports movement is sweeping the world, and in the tradition of the Pride Games, which have taken place in Manchester and Calgary, North East England is welcoming an event of their own: The 2007 Gaymes.

The event promises to be the one of the biggest sports day events to hit the small seaport town.

Nikki Ward, who is a volunteer at Hart Gables, which is a support group for the LGBT community in the area, initially thought up the event.

Her vision was to hold a multi sports event where gay and lesbian athletes could get involved and prepare themselves for bigger competitions such as the 2009 Outgames and the Gay Games in 2010.

The event, which has been funded by a grant from a local trust, will hold a five-a-side football competition, a basketball tournament, and track and field events.

Over time the organisation plans to expand the range of sports, but is expecting over a hundred people to participate in this year’s event.

“Many LGBT people are discouraged from taking part in sports because they worry about homophobia,” Ward told the Hartlepool Mail.

“What we want to do with this sports day is to have a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where people can just get together to play sports and have fun.”

The organisation encourages members of the community to come out and support the event even if they are not participating and hopes that they will help break down some of the stereotypes about gay people and sports.

by Dylan Vox- 2007 Gay Wired; All Rights Reserved