Posted on Tuesday 10th March, 2020

IGLA Games Swimming

The IGLA Games Swimming Championships were recently held in Melbourne 20-25 February 2020.

IGLA is the world’s foremost international organisation solely devoted to developing and promoting gay and lesbian swimming, water polo, diving, and synchronised swimming. Each year IGLA sanctions an international aquatics sports championships in a different international city, with one in every four years coinciding with the Gay Games.

Melbourne2020 was proudly hosted by two of Melbourne’s premier aquatics teams; the Glamourhead Sharks and Melbourne Surge.

A number of MSQ swimmers attended, and have provided this summary:

The IGLA Games offered a fantastic environment to compete against a host of international competitors.  The pool facilities were excellent and the environment fostered by IGLA was friendly and supportive.

The meet kicked off with relays, which really broke the ice.  This was followed by an Opening Ceremony involving speeches from organisers, Masters Swimming Australia and local Government.  Immediately after the speeches there was a dance performance involving a medley of Australian songs, themes and costumes – Dame Edna, Kylie Minogue and Priscilla Queen of the Desert were featured and it had everyone on their feet.  Absolutely incredible.

Some world records fell, and there were former international competitors seen on pooldeck and in the pool. Plenty of great tunes were played, with a distinct disco theme. Great experience and so well run.  Next year it’s in Salt Lake City!

Jamie Wright

Stephen and I were both looking forward to competing at the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatic Games (IGLA). Though I had some previous experience of swimming at an international event it was still a very new experience for both of us. The event was very well organised and there were plenty of social opportunities to build rapport with other competitors from around the world who were competing in the games. 

The opening ceremony was very special and it was great to hear a lot of positive contributions from the various dignitaries on the work with the LBTQIA as well as the indigenous communities.  I think both Stephen and I will have a lot of fond memories from competing at IGLA with both of us having a number of personal best times each.  

Both Stephen and I will look forward to the next opportunity to compete at IGLA, but also now have a renewed energy and confidence to compete in these types of competitions.

Michael Lee & Stephen Howell