Hockey Ireland has joined with Sport Ireland and Sporting Pride for the #LetsGetVisible campaign as part of Dublin Pride Health and Wellbeing Week.
The campaign aims to recognise and acknowledge the importance of visibility and representation amongst the LGBTQI+ community, specifically in the sport sector.
Ireland is currently home to two LGBTQI+ specific clubs, the Pink Ladies and the Oscar Wildes. This week, we got the lowdown on the Oscar Wildes from founder Cormac McKay as he looks to get the club up and running.
“Starting a team in the middle of a pandemic! It’s difficult enough as it is!” he said of the new venture. “It’s a brand new club we are trying to setup but it now looks like we have a target with the Euro Games in Copenhagen set to go ahead in August.”
The Euro Games is an LGBTI+ inclusive sporting event including 29 sports and will take place from Wednesday, August 18 to Friday, August 20 in Copenhagen. McKay previously linked up with the Black Swans – from Copenhagen as it happens – at the competition in Stockholm and that’s “how I got mixed up in it!”
“That was about four years ago. I just answered an ad on Facebook. It was a Danish team that was looking for players so I ended up playing with the Black Swans of Copenhagen. I really, really enjoyed it! I met the Pink Ladies over there and I made a promise to the Ladies that I’d try and form an Irish team so here I am now trying to get it going.
“It’s always more fun when it’s overseas and it’s very much a fun competition. It’s not hyper competitive and I truly enjoyed it when I was in Stockholm so I definitely want to try and get a men’s team going.
For his part, McKay followed in his family footsteps to take up the game 24 years ago, first with Smithfield and then with St Brendan’s/Phoenix Park and now under the Dublin North banner with whom he still plays.
With the Oscar Wildes, they will host summer hockey sessions on Monday and Friday evenings at 8pm at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown.
It will be open to any new or old players of any age any skill to come and play; registration is only €20 for the summer.
“I have a handful at the moment and haven’t really promoted it yet to the clubs. I had been holding off until there are clearer guidelines coming from Denmark about what is allowed but, by the look of things, fingers crossed it will all go ahead.
“This will be a brand new team from scratch and we will have the facilities of the National Sports Campus as our training venue.
“It is a bit of fun; it is not a ‘serious’ competition but it is about trying to get more members of the LGBT community involved in sport.
“It is primarily for international events. I don’t really see us having enough players to run a league; maybe down the road, there might be enough to run a team in Division 8 or something like that. At the moment, I don’t see a need for a team like the Dublin Devils [in football] or the Emerald Warriors [in rugby].”
** If you’re interested in finding out more about the Oscar Wilde’s LGBTQ men’s hockey club you can contact Cormac McKay on firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Oscar-Wildes-LGBTQ-mens-hockey-club-2710879852257178/