For Gay Star News Gareth Johnson interviews an organizer of the TIP Paris International Tournament as preparations continue for the 10th edition of this major multisport tournament hosted by FGG member organization FSGL:
One of the world’s foremost LGBT multi-sport events will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2013
19 DECEMBER 2012 | BY GARETH JOHNSON
As the Tournoi International de Paris (generally referred to as ‘TIP’) finalizes its plans for its 10th anniversary event, we speak with the event’s co-president Antoine Le Blanc to find out what participants can look forward to in 2013.
Antoine, is it surprising to you that TIP has become so big and successful?
Yes it is a surprise, but a very nice one! Many people have worked very hard during these years, so we are all looking forward to celebrating in 2013.
How many participants are you expecting to attend the 2013 event?
In 2012 there were over 1,700 participants. We hope that there will be a little more in 2013 being the 10th edition of the tournament and with more sports.
Where will participants mainly come from?
Participants come from nearly 25 countries all over the world, but mostly from European countries.
How many sports will be part of TIP in 2013?
There will be 19 different sports included in the 2013 event, including new ones such as boxing, golf, and tennis. As usual, there will be swimming, volleyball, football, rugby, and many others!
What other cultural and social activities will be part of TIP 2013?
In 2012, we set up for the first time a sports village in the heart of Paris, in the Marais. It was open during the three days of the tournament and there were sports demonstrations, free entertainment, exhibitions, debates around LGBT sports and more generally about fighting discrimination through sport.
It was a place where people playing different sports could meet and get to know each other. We will do the same in 2013, trying to make it better, with more cultural and social activities.
Of course, there will also be a closing party, with a huge show put up by the participating associations – it is generally a hit!
There is also the traditional closing brunch on Monday, with a few changes this year – a better place, more central, and with more space.
What makes Paris an attractive destination for the world’s LGBT sportspeople?
Paris is a world city with many facilities and it has a LGBT friendly atmosphere. Also, our Tournament has been running for ten years: LGBT sportspeople know about it, they know that it brings people together. It is one of the few international LGBT multi-sports tournaments.
The French Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (FSGL), which organizes the Tournament, is a national federation with official support, which I think is a unique case in the world. It is constituted by more than 35 LGBT sports associations, mostly in Paris.
Why is it important to have LGBT-specific sporting events such as TIP?
We believe that there are two main reasons – for LGBT people it is important to feel that they can play sport in a friendly atmosphere, be together, compete, meet people, and feel good; also TIP gives visibility to LGBT sport.
Because it is an event that is covered by the media, and is an officially supported event, it is a powerful instrument to fight against very actual and very painful discrimination towards LGBT people in sports associations and events.