As you’re probably aware by now, Cardiff Dragons FC will be hosting a European LGBT football tournament in June next year to celebrate Cardiff being awarded the status of European Capital of Sport for 2014. After some careful deliberation by the Committee, we decided that this would be a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the club and to show our local and regional partners, such as Sport Wales and the FAW that we’re more than just a football club.
The opportunity to run such an event was presented to us by Paul Miller who is an ex-Board member of the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association (IGLFA) and IGLFA referee, who is Cardiff born and bred but now lives in Sweden. Paul recognised that there would be a gap in the LGBT football tournament calendar next year as although the Gay Games presents a fantastic LGBT football competition, the travel distance and expense to Cleveland, USA would be too much for some European teams.
That’s where we come in. Guided by the Committee and with additional help from several Dragons members, Paul Miller and some other project partners, we intend to host a fantastic LGBT football tournament. Here’s a run down of what we are planning / doing:
Dates of event: Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th June 2014.
Competition venue: Pontcanna playing fields – Sport Cardiff have agreed to provide all of the pitches for free. Football takes place on the Friday and Saturday, all day.
Competition format: Men’s 11-a-side, Men’s 6-a-side, Women’s 6-a-side, Men’s 6-a-side Masters.
Team accommodation: The Maldron and The Angel hotels – arranged through the Accommodation Bureau.
Marketing: The Unity Cup logo was designed by our very own Dragon, Matt Jones – a website is also on its way which Matt is designing. We also have a Twitter account @ecs2014cardiff.
Competition catering: We are in discussions with the Pedal Power cafe at the Cardiff Caravan Park to provide food for teams to purchase during the event.
Match officials: Referees will be IGLFA accredited and we are in discussions with the FAW to provide female match officials for the women’s competition.
Social events: Thursday night will be the draw for the tournament competition and Saturday night will be the main tournament party – venues to be decided.
Budget: We have a draft budget set for the event which we aim to cover with tournament entry fees, commercial sponsorship and grant applications.
European teams: We are working with Paul Miller, Lou Englefield (Pride Sports) and Klaus Heusslein (European Gay & Lesbian Sports Federation) to drum up interest among European men’s and women’s teams.
GFSN teams: The event is open to GFSN teams and we already have great interest from our fellow teams in the leagues.
Dragons teams: Obviously we’d love to have a team in every competition so plan ahead and book the time off work / study!
More information will be circulated as things begin to take shape. In the meantime, book the time off work and help us to promote the event with any European contacts you may have in football and follow us on Facebook (ecs2014cardiff) or Twitter (@ecs2014cardiff).