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Sending York Swimmers to Sweden - Eurogames 2015

A project by: Chris Unsworth



from 38 donors

This project received pledges on Mon 03 Aug 2015
Support LGBT inclusion in sport by sending University of York Swimmers to the Eurogames 2015

The University of York Swimming and Water Polo Club (UYSWC) is trying to raise £800 in order to send 4 York Swimmers to the Eurogames, an international LGBT inclusive sporting festival.

UYSWC is one of the largest, most successful and most diverse sports clubs in the York Sport Union. The club prides itself on having a friendly and welcoming environment meaning that people from many different backgrounds and of differing race, sexuality and gender are able to compete in the name of the University of York. 

Post-Roses celebrations after UYSWC swimming whitewash 2015

Members of UYSWC strongly agree with the progressive ideals that the York Sport Union holds. Through programmes such as the Key Contacts Scheme, York Sport Union has been highlighted as a leading sports union with regards to inclusion and diversity. It is with these progressive ideals in mind that UYSWC members wish to compete in the Eurogames 2015.

Eurogames 2015 - Stockholm banner

The best way to describe the Eurogames is taking the European Olympics and merging it with an LGBT pride festival. The inclusive sports festival involves 29 different sports. 4,500 competitive registrations have been made so far and over 20,000 spectators are expected from all over the world. The event is truly global and there are no barriers to entry. People of any sexual orientation, including heterosexual, have been encouraged to compete. Beyond sport, the event involves cultural and political events which will take place throughout the week.

The 4 UYSWC members that would like to swim in the Eurogames swimming gala are: Michael Clifford, 2nd year Computer science student; Maja Amanda Olsson, 2nd year Psychology student; Laurence McLellan Bastidas, 1st year Chemistry student and Christopher Unsworth, 2nd year Chemistry PhD student. We regularly carry the banner for our University on home soil, however, the Eurogames will be the highest profile event that any of us have ever competed in. No UYSWC swimmers have ever swum in an international competition before, making the Eurogames a ground breaking event for the swimmers and club alike. 

From the top: Chris, Laurence, Maja Amanda and Michael

Beyond personal and club representation, no university has ever specifically shown its support in sending students to the event before. In sending York swimmers to Sweden enforces and strengthens the view that York Sport Union is not only one of the leading, but THE leading university sports union globally with regards to inclusion and diversity. 

When asked why attending the Eurogames in the name of UYSWC, York Sport Union and the University of York is important to them, Michael, Laurence and Maja Amanda said the following:

Michael: "It's important to me that the Swimming Club and the University demonstrate their support for inclusivity in sport because, although the University, and especially UYSWC, do this very well, unfortunately this is not the case everywhere. It’s very difficult to play a team sport if you don’t ever feel like part of the team and I believe everyone should be able to participate in the sports they enjoy, regardless of any other factors."
Laurence: "I think it is important to make sports more inclusive to the gay community as sometimes there is stigma especially in mens sports, so being present at a tournament like this representing the university is very important and a good push to remove the stigma and make sports in general more open to everyone who is talented or wants to participate."
Maja Amanda: " I think the Eurogames is a brilliant opportunity for athletes from all over the world to come and enjoy sports and support LGBTQ rights. I am so proud to be a member of UYSWC who have members willing to travel to Eurogames in Sweden to show their support so everyone can enjoy such a great sport as swimming without experiencing discrimination."

We are asking for your donations towards this project and every donation will make a difference. All money donated with help in the realisation of the truly ground breaking participation of UYSWC members at the Eurogames 2015. The funds raised will go towards flights to and accommodation in Stockholm over the duration of the event. The York Sport Union Contingency fund have already contributed £340 towards registration for the event. A breakdown of costings and where the money will go is given below:

  • Registration (4 participants) - £340 - provided by the York Sport Union
  • Flights (4 return flights - London Stansted to Stockholm Stavska) - £340
  • Accommodation (3rd-10th August @£115pppw) - £460

There are extra incentives for donations, you could be a UYSWC member for life from donations that get you your own UYSWC merchandise!!! 

For more info on the Eurogames, UYSWC and York Sport Union check out the following links:






Follow the UYSWC twitter page for regular updates on fundraising and the competition throughout the games!!!

We understand that not everyone can donate, but if you can't you can still join our network or share this page that would be great. All help in any form is massively appreciated.

Thanks and much UYSWC love to all,

Chris Unsworth