Over 400 students from different universities, amateurs and professional athletes from a diverse cultural background, gender identity and ethnicity joined the Unity Games – a two-day sports event co-hosted between The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 (GGHK) during the weekend, as part of the University’s unceasing efforts to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.
Participated by students from seven other local universities and community teams, the Unity Games is part of the University’s ongoing efforts to create an open and respectful environment where students can enjoy, learn and exchange with people from different institutions, ethnic groups, genders, age strata, religious and cultural backgrounds. Apart from an earlier lecture series on equality, HKUST will also co-host a fencing exhibition match with the Hong Kong Sports Association for the Physically Disabled in March, as well as a Tactile Art Exhibition on wheelchair fencing next semester for the visually impaired to experience colors through touches. More dialogues will also be held in the spring term to explore topics such as equal accessibility to sports and art.
At the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Alan LANG, co-chair of GGHK, said, “GGHK is honored to partner with HKUST and Hong Kong’s higher education institutions to create the Unity Games. With three sports – volleyball, table tennis and squash to choose from, participation from major universities and members of the public, Unity Games is a great way to demonstrate inclusion in action. I hope, through the active participation of students and amateur athletes, that we continue our mission to build a world where sport powers unity and diversity. At GGHK we look forward to seeing you all in the world’s largest, most inclusive, sports, art and cultural festival in Hong Kong in November 3-11, 2023, which is open to all.”
Prof. King CHOW, HKUST’s Acting Dean of Students said: “As an educational institution, we do not solely disseminate knowledge, but also cultivate individuals to discover and develop their full potential in whatever area that fits them best, to have a strong sense of self-respect and respect for others, which is one of our core values - inclusiveness. Therefore, we are proud to partner with GGHK in launching two large events this year: the Unity Games and GGHK later this year. These are good opportunities to broaden our students’ perspectives, inspire creativity and innovation and better prepare them for the global and diverse society today.”
The Unity Games is a prelude to Asia’s first Gay Games to be hosted in November 3-11, 2023. GGHK recently marked the one-year countdown to the Gay Games at a VIP event at the JW Marriott Hotel, attended by The Honorable Mrs. Regina IP Lau, Convener of the Executive Council, and Mr. Allan ZEMAN, Chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Group.
Since the opening of full registration in October 2022, GGHK has seen a steady stream of participants for this global extravaganza of sports, arts, culture, community and fun. Gay Games 11 will be co-hosted with Guadalajara Mexico and held in both Asia and Latin America for the first time in its 40-year history.
Under the theme “Unity In Diversity,” the Games aim to promote unity and inclusion as Hong Kong reinforces its credentials as a welcoming, world city. The Gay Games principles of “Participation, Inclusion, and Personal BestTM” ensure that everyone above the age of 18 is welcome to participate. There are no pre-selection criteria for any events.
Participants and interested volunteers can register online at GGHK2023.com.
About The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) (https://hkust.edu.hk/) is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 30th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global Employability University Ranking and Survey 2022. As of 2022, HKUST members have founded 1,645 active start-ups, including 9 Unicorns and 7 IPO companies, generating economic impact worth over HK$400billion. InvestHK cited QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 to demonstrate the performance of five world’s top 100 local universities in several innovation-centric areas, among which HKUST ranked top in four engineering and materials science subjects.
About Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023
Gay Games 11 Hong Kong will take place on 3-11 November 2023, the first event of its kind in Asia. Under the theme “Unity in Diversity” the Games will feature a wide variety of sporting events, opening & closing ceremonies, festival village, and arts and culture events. Supporting organisations include the Equal Opportunities Commission, InvestHK, BrandHK and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, with Marriott Bonvoy and YouTube as Platinum Partners.
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About the Federation of Gay Games (FGG)
The FGG mission is to promote equality and social change for LGBTQ+ people through its quadrennial sports and culture event, the Gay Games. Conceived by Dr Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, the Gay Games principles are “Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best™” and it was first held in San Francisco in 1982. It is now the world’s largest quadrennial LGBTQ+ sports and cultural event open to all, that is organised and led by LGBTQ+ artists and athletes. Other Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986), Vancouver (1990), New York (1994), Amsterdam (1998), Sydney (2002), Chicago (2006), Cologne (2010), and Cleveland+Akron (2014). The most recent Games, in Paris (2018), involved over 10,000 participants from 91 countries, 3,000 volunteers, 36 sports, and 14 cultural events, and pumped 107.6 million Euros into the local economy.
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