7d-005New Zealand: Auckland has been confirmed as the host city for the 2016 Asia Pacific Outgames.

The Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association’s (GLISA) Asia Pacific unit has inspected the proposed facilities, met with LGBTI community members, and approved the bid.

The games will be held in February 2016, concurrent with the 2016 Auckland Pride Festival.

They will include an opening ceremony at an iconic Auckland venue, 20 different sports, an extensive arts and cultural programme and human rights conference.

It will also mean people from across the Asia Pacific region, and the world, will take part in the Auckland Pride Parade, parties and events.

There have been three Asia Pacific Outgames so far, with Wellington fabulously playing host in 2011.

GLISA Asia Pacific President Barry Taylor says all have been successful and financially and the Outgames have become a leading LGBTI event in the Asia Pacific region.

“With its three pillars of Sports, Culture and Human Rights, the Outgames will see over 2,000 LGBTI participants from across the Asia and Pacific region gather in Auckland to compete in sport striving for their personal best, and to celebrate our lives through cultural celebrations, performance and the visual arts.

“The Human Rights Forum allows us to be in solidarity with each other, acknowledging that for many LGBTI people in the Asia and Pacific region there is still not full legal protection under the law nor the enjoyment of equal human rights, particularly if you are trans or intersex.”

Taylor says being innovative is also important, and making the event appeal to younger people is a new goal.

The Auckland Asia Pacific Outgames will add sports programme that appeal to young people. Cyber gaming and wall rock climbing will be included for the first time. There will also be family-friendly events catering for ‘rainbow families’ such as junior athletics and swimming activities for children and young teens.