News - 2nd September 2021
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Winter Pride

winterpride

This week should have been Winter Pride week. Due to Covid restrictions in New Zealand, the festival was cancelled but the Winter Pride parkrun is now virtual and parkrunners are encouraged to log a (not)parkrun with a pride theme.

 

For the second year running, the festival has been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, however Festival director Martin King said the collaboration would still send a strong and “powerful” message to the LGBTQI+ community. “The big thing with Pride is not you being rainbow, as we know there are people who are parents, children, relatives and friends of those who are LGBTQI+.

 

“Building tolerance through these sorts of events is really powerful and impactful.

 

“It’s a big deal because it shows that running is inclusive. It says that there are people out there who are welcoming and it’s safe. Sport is traditionally very macho.

 

“Being a young gay boy growing up in regional New Zealand playing rugby was terrifying for me. I didn’t feel welcome.

 

“Sport can be very phobic so seeing an event celebrate Winter Pride is enormous. It says we exist.”

 

This year there were plans to welcome visitors from Australia, however the travel bubble ban put a hold on that. The Wakatipu Youth Trust was going to be dressing the Queenstown parkrun course in rainbow colours but now Queenstown parkrunners have been encouraged to help promote the diversity and inclusion of the parkrun spirit by showing us your best Winter Pride (not)parkrun photos.

 

Martin said the festival had already had an effect on the town’s young people. “They are more confident. It’s fabulous.”

 

Alison King

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