Glam Slam, Australia’s biggest LGBTIQ tennis tournament, will take place next week at the Australian Open.
Offering an authentic tournament experience, Glam Slam will provide participants with the opportunity to compete in an LGBTIQ tennis competition.
Tournament director Rowen D’Souza said since the its birth three years ago, the event has “grown out of sight”.
“We started playing on the outside clay courts three years ago and now we’ve become fully integrated,” he told the Herald Sun.
“We have 200 players from 35 countries entered into the Glam Slam.
“This is about giving them an opportunity to play at the Australian Open and on the world’s greatest stage.”
Additionally, D’Souza said there has been an increase in female participation in the competition.
“Women’s participation is up 400 per cent, we have initiatives for those who identify as transgender and non-gender binary here as well.
“Everyone is so excited about playing the finals on Court 3. No one else around the world has that kind of support at a Grand Slam.”
Glam Slam a positive step for LGBTIQ community
As tennis champ Margaret Court continues to make headlines, Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said the tennis community is fully behind the LGBTIQ event.
“Tennis needs to continually strive to be the most inclusive sport in the world,” he said.
“Everyone should feel that they can be a part of our sport regardless of gender, ability, race, religion or sexuality.
“We have an opportunity through an event like the Glam Slam to make people more aware that they are welcome to be a part of tennis.”
Player Michael O’Brien says the tournament is certainly a huge step forward for LGBTIQ people.
“A lot of us start playing gay sports because we don’t feel like we fit in with mainstream teams or sports,” he said.
“The Glam Slam means our community is being accepted by the greater tennis world which is huge.”
Tennis Australia will host the LGBTIQ event at Melbourne Park between 30 January and 2 February. You can catch the finals on Court 3 the same afternoon as the Australian Open men’s finals.
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