WorldPride Sports Spotlight: Sydney Stingers
WorldPride Sports launched at the end of Feb, which saw 21 sports organisations join the Sydney WorldPride 2023 festival. Click here for more information on the announcement.
Following the announcement, we had a chat with Nathan Collett from Sydney Stingers about their plans for 2023 as part of WorldPride Sports!
For those who may not be aware – who are the Sydney Stingers?
The Sydney Stingers Water Polo club started way back in 2001 for the Sydney Gay Games. It has since grown to be a fully inclusive LGBTQIA+ club with 200 members that play at various levels – from first timers to those with multiple international tournaments under their belts… well, drawstrings. We run a club-exclusive tournament for those starting out, as well as larger tournaments such AQuA (Australian Queer Aquatics) that we’ll be running for Sydney WorldPride which will welcome LGBTQIA+ clubs from across the region.
How will you be using your funding to bring Waterpolo to WorldPride?
Our funding will be used to elevate what AQuA Festival offers and maximise community participation. This includes securing world-class facilities and providing experiences not usually offered during LGBTQIA+ water polo and swimming tournaments. Our Beach Festival at Manly will offer Beach Polo 4’s and ocean swimming for the first time, and will be open to the wider Sydney community to get involved.
How are you involved with Wett Ones?
We work with Wett Ones, our sister swimming club, to provide Sydneysiders with options for training, competition and community in and around the water. We are both members of Team Sydney and IGLA (International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics) and represent our city in international competitions. We share many members and our Executive Teams share learnings on club strategy and management. Our partnership to host AQuA is a new chapter in bringing broader LGBTQIA+ inclusive aquatics events to Sydney.
How will your team prepare for competition at WorldPride?
Our Sydney Metro League teams train and compete year-round, supported by our incredible coaching staff, including former Olympians. In fact we have just recruited our first state-level Division 1 Women’s comp team! We’ve also got some opportunities later this year to re-ignite the sibling rivalry with our sister clubs in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth as we get ready for the main event during WorldPride.
Why do you think sport is so important for queer communities?
Sport has the obvious physical health benefits, but its value is really the connection it provides. The Stingers are a broad camp where members from all backgrounds and skill levels can come together, challenge themselves and meet a bunch of people on their wavelength in a healthy environment. There’s also an incredible international family built up through regular tournaments such as AQuA, so you’re never far from home!
Are there any major WorldPride events the team is excited to attend in 2023?
The Stingers will be amping up our annual involvement in the Mardi Gras Parade to celebrate AQuA, and we’re very excited that the First Nations Gala Concert coincides with the tournament. And as water babies, it goes without saying that you’ll find us down at the Bondi Beach Party!
Is there any message you had for people wanting to get involved in WorldPride Sports?
Sign up and just give it a go! Our next four week beginners bootcamp will be in May, and splashing around an indoor heated pool is a great way to avoid the winter blues. After the disruptions of the last two years, we just completed our first bootcamp in over a year and will be kicking off our club-exclusive competition INTRA for our newest members along with a range of social events in the coming weeks.
To hear more about WorldPride Sports, be sure to sign up for pre-sale access and event announcements!