The future of the 2016 Asia Pacific Outgames scheduled to be held in Auckland next February looks grim – unless urgent community action is taken.
Serious doubt has been cast over the likelihood that the 2016 Asia Pacific Outgames will proceed as it has emerged the organisation’s funding application to the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has been rejected – an application, which was six months in the making.
In a further blow to the event’s prospects, it has now been confirmed that the board resigned en masse with just six months to go before the games are set to be held in Auckland.
Craig Watson has spent the last few months providing consulting services to the organisation and serves as its relationship manager. Speaking to express, Watson reveals that the board had serious doubts over the event’s viability, which led to the resignations.
express understands that the mass resignations were made on the 18th of July, however the board members have refrained from making any public statements since.
Growing speculation within the Auckland GLBT community has now led the organisation to make an official statement.
“Outgames recently suffered from significant churn in its structure, with the resignation of its board and resignations from within its executive team.” the statement reads.
“However, the Gay and Lesbian International Sporting Association (GLISA) Asia Pacific, who have provided the licence to hold the event, are now actively working alongside a smaller Executive to plan for a scaled down Outgames.”
Outgames now has three options in proceeding forward, Watson confirms. “They can either elect a new board, hand over power to the Outgames executive or cancel the games”
Despite the two setbacks, Watson remains optimistic some form of event can be staged in Auckland next year and has issued a call to action, saying those within the community who want to help Auckland stage the 4th Asia Pacific Outgames should get in contact with him immediately.
“If the GLBT community in Auckland want the Outgames to go ahead and are able to support it, it can happen”
“A robust plan is being developed to deliver the Outgames requires moderate sponsorship so it can be confident that it will be financially viable. “We are not being unrealistic in our expectations. We are calling out to the community to rally together and identify some funding channels to support this fantastic event”, Craig says.
“Secondly, it needs Auckland’s Rainbow community to actively support the Outgames. “We need to partner with sporting groups, cultural groups and Human Rights organisers to pull this event off. It really needs to be a community effort”.
“We are so close to being able to make this Outgames fantastic. We are just hoping that with a bit of funding, and a lot of community collaboration, we can make it happen for Auckland”, Craig says.
Mr Watson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article | Levi Joule.