The United Church of Christ has been announced as the first denomination to sponsor the Gay Games.

Taking place in Cleveland Ohio from tomorrow, 9 August, the Gay Games will be sponsored by the church.

In order to demonstrate the church’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, justice and human rights, Reverend Mike Schuenemeyer and Sandy Sorensen will run, swim and golf in the competition.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to participate in the Gay Games, and just having the opportunity to compete with other members of the LGBT community,” said Sorensen, director of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries office in Washington, D.C.

“I don’t have particular goals in mind. Being there and participating is exciting for me. It’s a chance to celebrate sports and the LGBT community in Cleveland, where our UCC headquarters are.”

The church is a silver sponsor of the games, the fourth highest membership of eleven levels.

The Gay Games take place in Cleveland between August 9 and 16.