The Richmond region will host the inaugural Sports Diversity Jubilee presented by Compete magazine May 17th – 19th, 2019, it was announced late last week. The multi-sport tournament will feature LGBTQ+ athletes from across the world competing in dodgeball and softball; additional sporting events will be announced soon.
The announcement was made at the Petey Awards on November 10th in Tempe, Arizona. Organized by Compete, a publication focused on LGBTQ+ sports, the Petey Awards honors the best in sports diversity and celebrates the magazine’s mission of “uniting the world through sports.”
The City of Richmond was also recognized as an emerging LGBTQ+ sports tourism destination at the ceremony by the magazine’s Sports Diversity Leadership Council, a coalition of about 80 sports leaders representing more than 110,000 members. Mayor Levar Stoney and Richmond Region Tourism staff members accepted the award at the ninth annual ceremony.
“We’re proud to be recognized by the Petey Awards and will continue our work to make Richmond more inclusive and welcoming,” Mayor Stoney said in a news release. “We’re looking forward to introducing the city to some of the world’s best LGBTQ+ athletes this May.”
Richmond Region Tourism, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the region to meeting, convention and sports event planners, tour operators and leisure travelers, was a founding member of the Sports Diversity Leadership Council when it launched earlier this year.
“We are very excited to partner with Richmond because of its longtime support of both sports and diversity,” said Eric Carlyle, CEO of Compete magazine. “Richmond was one of the first destinations to be named a Certified Partner by the Sports Diversity Leadership Council.”
Richmond Region Tourism launched OutRVA in 2014, a program designed to market the region as welcoming to LGBTQ+ travelers. An advisory committee of local LGBTQ+ business owners and volunteers helps guide the campaign.
Richmond received a 94 and was named an “MEI All-Star” by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2018 Municipal Equality Index scorecard last month. The report highlighted Richmond as a “city boldly leading the way to equality.”
“We continually work to promote the Richmond region as a welcoming place to all travelers,” said Katherine O’Donnell, executive vice president of Richmond Region Tourism. “We’re thrilled to receive this year’s Petey Award and can’t wait to cheer on the talented LGBTQ+ athletes at the Sports Diversity Jubilee next year.”