It’s time to get in training, sort out your outfit and lube yourself up for the giant in the (not particularly serious) sporting calendar – the GMFA/RVT Gay Sports Day. The annual jamboree of athletic messiness takes place on bank holiday Monday, 26 August, at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (just behind the Royal Vauxhall Tavern) and will be hosted by Timberlina. Registration for teams is now open so it’s time to get inspired, get training and help raise vital funds to support HIV prevention for gay men and to benefit the local community.
As is now traditional, the Vauxhall Sports Day will revisit old-skool sporting events such as the Handbag Toss, the 50m mince and the Space Hopper relay. If you’re fed up of watching from the sidelines, form a team a team and register now. Everyone is welcome to take part, whatever your sexual preference, gender or athletic ability but there are only a limited number of places for teams (and half of them have already been snapped up). To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the site at www.gmfa.org.uk/sportsday, where you’ll also be able to view the video of last year’s event.
Matthew Hodson, GMFA’s Chief Executive, commented: “Sports Day has become a fixture in the summer calendar and each year the crowd gets bigger and bigger and the competition gets more intense. I don’t know how we’re going to top our note for note but considerably low budget recreation of the Olympic opening ceremony from last year, but we’ll certainly give it a shot.”
The Gay Sports Day is an institution dating back to the 80s. This is the 7th successive year that GMFA, the gay men’s health charity, and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern have joined forces to host the event. Money raised from the event funds GMFA’s sexual health work for gay men, including their websites (www.gmfa.org.uk) and FS magazine, which receive no statutory funding. Money will also go to two organisations that help look after the local Vauxhall community – Vauxhall City Farm and The Friends of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
Each team of five collects sponsorship for the event, with a minimum of £500 expected for each team. There are three award categories with medals for the winning team, for the team that raises the most money and for the team with the best outfits.
Matthew adds: “Sports Day is all about fun, celebration and giving back to the community. This year is particularly vital for us, as the money that we raise will help to ensure that we can continue to provide our online sexual health information and advice, as well as distribute FS magazine across London. So whether you want to show off your sporting prowess, your finest fancy dress, or just to cheer from the sidelines, we hope to see you there.”