Review: Festival Fortnight 2023
7th July 2023
A reflection on Festival Fortnight 2023, Scotland’s LGBTIQ+ sports festival.
During the final two weeks in June, LEAP Sports coordinated the 10th edition of the annual Festival Fortnight. This was a record-breaking year with over 140 events on offer across the country and more than 40 delivery partners, including many new partners. A few highlights from these busy 2 weeks included a dodgeball session in Glasgow with the Kelvin Rapids, where participants got to learn the basics of dodgeball and enjoy a social gathering with the team. Another exciting addition to the festival was the launch event for the new Pride in Tennis Glasgow group. The group gathered at the upgraded tennis courts in Newlands Park and had a wonderful afternoon in the sun meeting new people. The group will continue to meet on Tuesday evenings, 7-8:30pm, at Newlands Park - all abilities are welcome!
FF2023 featured pickleball for the first time delivered by Perth Pickleball Club. One participant said: “They catered brilliantly for all levels of abilities and everyone had a great time!” Lothian Roller Derby hosted their Rainbow Rolling event in Edinburgh where folks heard from league members regarding their experiences, and tried out roller derby for the first time. One participant noted how inclusive and welcoming this event was: “The fact they got a room of newbies from completely inexperienced and never having met each other before to everyone laughing and playing tag games confidently on skates was a testament to their skills as individuals and the potential for inclusive sport in general.”
Many LGBTIQ+ sports groups also put on events during FF2023. This included the annual Glasgow Raptors RFC rugby bootcamp and the Festival Fortnight badminton tournament delivered by the Edinburgh Racqueteers. The Aberdeen Frontrunners organised their Rainbow Relay Run, and Perth Parrots Floorball club hosted the first public screening of their short film ‘Every Time We Play, We Win’.
The Big Gaylidh event went down a treat, and we also saw the first gathering of the Proud Tartan Army group at Strathclyde Student's Union.
Festival Fortnight 2023 was a massive success, and that all comes down to the partners who got involved and committed to delivering events which made everyone feel welcome and valued. LEAP could also not have coordinated the festival without the support of dedicated volunteers who represented LEAP at multiple events throughout the 2 weeks. See you in 2024!