The Chicago hosts of Gay Games VII 2006 and the international Federation of Gay Games, governing body of the Gay Games, have announced that applications are now being accepted for the Gay Games VII Scholarship Program.

The two organisations will mount a global campaign to inform potential participants about Gay Games VII, the sports and cultural festival to be held in Chicago, 15-22 July 2006, and the scholarships that are available. The deadline for submitting scholarship applications is 1 January 2006.

Financial scholarships have helped more than 850 people from around the world attend the Gay Games since 1994, bringing the global LGBT community together in a celebration of sport and culture as never before.

The Gay Games VII Scholarship Program continues the outreach legacy of previous Gay Games.

“Assisting participants with travel, housing, registration, and daily expenses is vital if the Gay Games are to serve an international community”, said Paul Oostenbrug, delegate from Federation director organisation Team Chicago and one of the authors of the Gay Games VII Scholarship Program. “Both the Federation and Chicago Games, Inc. (CGI, the Chicago 2006 host committee) recognise the need of our constituents, and together we can offer resources to address that need”.

“In India, we face homophobic hostility everywhere”, said Guruprasad Gadgil, who received a scholarship to participate in the cultural festival of Gay Games VI. “I didn’t know anything about the world beyond India, but still I came to the Gay Games”.

The Scholarship Program staff members at CGI have been working with the Federation’s scholarship committee to plan for a variety of needs that applicants may have both during the application period, and, if selected, during the Gay Games.

Aimee Pine, CGI Scholarships Coordinator, said, “Building a team of translators and experts knowledgeable in global cultural differences and the complexities of international travel is a large part of the support we plan to provide for applicants”.

Sandra Villalobos of Colombia played football (soccer) at Gay Games VI with scholarship assistance from the Federation’s Coe Scholarship Fund. She said, “In Colombia, it is very hard to get in touch with someone that understands you. At the Gay Games, it was more than I expected. It was so nice to finally meet people who are like me, who understand me, and are interested in me”.

Chicago organisers and the Federation have seen the positive effect the Gay Games has on each participant’s life, and, ultimately, the transformative power participants can have on their local communities. For those reasons, representatives from both organisations will be working globally to inform people about the Gay Games and encourage those who require assistance to apply for a Gay Games VII scholarship.

Gay Games VII Sports and Cultural Festival will take place 15-22 July 2006 in Chicago. Over 12,000 athletes from more than 100 countries will compete in 30 sports ranging from softball to dancesport, swimming to tennis. The weeklong event will include band, cheerleading and colour guard performances, chorus, an ancillary arts festival, and a series of community-organised social events and parties. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 15 July at Soldier Field, the lakefront home stadium of American-style football’s Chicago Bears. Closing ceremony will be 22 July at Wrigley Field, the home of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, located in the heart of Chicago’s largest LGBT neighborhood. For the first time, the Gay Games in Chicago will receive widespread television coverage on the Q Television Network.

Application forms and information about the Gay Games VII Scholarship Program are available at and

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend