Last week, squash’s inclusivity was front and centre at the Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 as squash players from around the world in competed in Hong Kong, China.
The Gay Games is a quadrennial multi-sport and cultural event which has been held since 1982 with the mission of promoting equality, respect and understanding.
This year’s Gay Games was joint-hosted by Hong Kong, China and Guadalajara, Mexico, with the squash competition – in which the Category A tournament was won by 23-year-old Russell Chan of Hong Kong, China – taking place at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.
Reflecting on the squash competition at this year’s Gay Games, tournament director Choon Hong Teh highlighted the importance of events such as the Gay Games in reinforcing the message that squash is a sport for all: “Everyone deserves a chance to play, and we cannot assume that everyone is confident to partake in sports.
“The huge success of these Games and the excitement of squash’s inclusion in the programme certainly marks a definitive step in creating more fun, competitive and welcoming environments for all players.”
Since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LGBTQ+-friendly squash scene has recovered well, with landmark events such as the European Open 2022 Berlin – the biggest LGBTQ+-friendly tournament in over a decade – helping to foster a spirit of inclusivity.
Like the European Open 2022 Berlin, the 2023 Gay Games squash competition was open to all, something Choon stated was important in making the sport as accessible as possible.
“The tournament [was] open to everyone, regardless of age, ability, sexual orientation, gender or any other characteristic.
“The Gay Games is about inclusivity for everyone.”
Learn more about LGBTQ+ Squash.