The boxing tournament aims to “break the homophobia, transphobia and hatred in sports”

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Due to this disease, Stark was in a coma twice and underwent tracheotomy. He remembers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after the second time, “the dream of being in a coma actually caused trauma.”

This is why he found boxing. He described the sport as providing him with the gift of “being myself, feeling comfortable, and fragile”.
Through his boxing trip, Stark began to organize the World Gay Boxing Championship (WGBC), which is the world’s first LGBTQI+ boxing championship, which will be held in Sydney in 2023.

A series of events supported by the Australian Boxing Association and most of the major organizers and managers of the sport will include amateur boxers of different weights, ages and abilities.

In addition to introducing the sport to new audiences, Stark also hopes that WGBC will “break the homophobia, transphobia and hatred in sports.”

“I think the most important thing is popularity and representativeness,” he told CNN Sport. “There have always been pioneers in boxing. You think women will not be able to participate in the Olympic boxing competition until 2012. Think about the achievements of Nicola Adams. Since the 1990s, women have been participating in boxing matches in the United States, so women have been pioneering boxing. Traces of hands.

“And I think this is the source of my inclusive spirit-because of the achievements of other people, for me, my organization, we are very close to the grassroots and amateur level, but we want to break homophobia and transphobia. , Hatred in sports.”

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Use a punching bag for rigorous training.

“Boxing is for everyone”

Stark is a swimmer in school. He remembers being selected last in school sports, except in the swimming pool.

When he visited the local martial arts center to participate in some self-defense classes, he started to get in touch with boxing.

Previously, he thought the sport was “barbaric.” But it has become a safe space.

According to Stark, due to the masculine nature of the sport, many people may think boxing is very “different.” But as a member of the LGBTQI+ community, he found the sport to be extremely inclusive.

“Boxing is for everyone,” he said.

“Based on my personal experience, I found this sport to be very inclusive. I am popular in various stadiums,” Stark continued.

Stark used the word

“I have been training for my first game. All my sports coaches, trainers and everyone who participated in our first game are so enthusiastic that the coaches and participants even recorded the “Happy Pride Month”. Video.”

Stark fell in love with the sport and was completely immersed in the club and the courses there. He remembered jokingly saying that he was the “future world gay boxing champion.”

He does have a dream of boxing at the 2022 Gay Games, but the sport will be eliminated in the upcoming matches-due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sport has been postponed to 2023.

This is the source of his thoughts on WGBC. “I just came up with an idea:’Why don’t I organize the world’s first LGBTQI+ boxing tournament, which includes our allies?'” he recalled.

The first WGBC will be held in Sydney in 2023 to coincide with the city’s WorldPride and Mardi Gras.

Stark has the support of the world’s major boxing organizations: World Boxing Association, International Boxing Organization, World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization.

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In Sydney, where the Gay World Boxing Championship is held, Stark trains with coach Tanya.

started from the bottom

In addition to hosting boxing festivals suitable for all ages, abilities and skill levels, Stark also hopes that WGBC can influence the performance of LGBTQI+ in this sport.

“Very few professional gay boxers have won a Grand Slam,” he explained. “I think representativeness and popularity are very important.”

But Stark believes that although it is important to increase the representation of the elite level, there is not enough attention to the grassroots and amateur levels.

Just like the Bingham Cup-a biennial, international, non-professional, gay rugby league tournament-he hopes that WGBC can encourage young members of the LGBTQI+ community who are interested in boxing to try the sport.

However, in addition to encouraging participation in sweet science, Stark also hopes that he can have an impact on preventing homophobia and transphobia in sports.

According to a study, 80% of more than 12,000 participants from all over the world have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports. The study also found that 78% of participants believed that an openly gay person is not very safe as a spectator of a sporting event.

Although he has been subjected to “typical spoofs on social media” since the founding of WGBC-he ignored this-he believes it will make a difference.

“There is more work to be done, but it is actually at the grassroots and amateur level. I am talking about subversion through tolerance and participation,” he said.

Stark and WGBC ambassador Shaun Jacobs celebrated Pride Month with other participants, who are being trained to participate in fighting night to raise funds for WGBC.
“I’m working with an organization called Proud to Play. They will conduct consulting outreach and community engagement for us to help us develop transgender and gender diversity policies. And we are working with them to develop an inclusive Gym project. You think that if you feel more popular in the gym, if you feel that training is popular, you are more likely to participate in amateur-level sports, and maybe even enter the professional level.”
Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features and videos

Stark’s first hope is that WGBC can “bring boxing, LGBTQI+ and the wider community together”.

As for his long-term hope? He wants something more extraordinary.

“The reason I set up the organization, I think [homophobia, transphobia, etc.] It will no longer exist by the end of this century. ”

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