A conference on “Homophobia in the Stadium. European Institutions against Discriminations in Sport” organised by FARE partners the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF), in cooperation with Football for Equality II and with participation from the Council of Europe, was held in Budapest on 30th June under the umbrella of the EuroGames 2012 which kicked off in the Hungarian capital on 27 June, 2012.
Sonia Parayre, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), took part in the conference alongside with Uffe Elbaek, Culture Minister of Denmark, Tanja Walther-Ahrens, former football player, and representative of EGLSF, Megan Worthing-Davies, UK Justin Campaign- Football v Homophobia association, and Louise Englefield, PrideSport-UK and former EGLSF co-president.
Sharing good practice
The discussions focused on the different approaches from (inter)national, regional and local governing bodies on tackling homophobia in sports, and especially in football, throughout Europe. Participants shared good practice examples and drew from their own experience whereas the transferability of best practice examples on to other regions and nations, especially in Central and Eastern European Countries remained the centre piece of the discussions.
The conference gave participants from the ENGSO Youth study session, which took places at the Council of Europe’s European Youth Centre in Budapest from 24 June to 1 July, the opportunity to present the outcomes and video from their session on “Youth Sport speaks out on TabooPhobia”. As part of the results the video “The Runner” was presented.
Every year, the EuroGames gathers lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual (LGBT) athletes and all their friends to give them the opportunity to pursue their sports and to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle while experiencing a sense of real community. Additionally, EuroGames set out to support the struggle for equal opportunities. Furthermore, the event is determined to build a bridge between the LGBT community and the majority society, as well as to combat prejudice by means of education and also to encourage LGBT people to come out.
With over 2000 participants from 34 European countries having competed in 14 sports in this year’s event in Budapest, it for the first time ever was held in a Central and Eastern European country.