LGL Member Ieva Ruzgytė visits Stockholm: Best Practices of Encouraging Openness in Sports

On October 25-26, 2016, a member of the National LGBT Rights Organization LGL and a master of judo Ieva Ruzgytė, with the support from the Embassy of Sweden in Vilnius, visited Stockholm, where „Inclusion in sports“ study meeting was held. Swedish capital became the gathering place for sports athletes from Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Poland, Russia and Lithuania. „I would really want to thank the Embassy of Sweden in Lithuania, the Swedish Institute, RFSL and Swedish Sports Confederation for the excellent organization of the visit to Sweden and the warm welcome”, says Ieva.

The visit to Sweden included presentations and meetings with Swedish activists and  members of various organizations, who collectively and individually pursue the same goal – openness in sports. I. Ruzgytė with colleges attended thirteen meetings and discussions, during which participants established short-term and long-term goals and discussed resources and support for athletes needed for achieving them.

In a short term, Ieva Ruzgytė promised to organize “Sports for everyone” workshop in Lihuanian language. “Sports for everyone” workshop was organized first in English during the week of Baltic Pride 2016 events. I. Ruzgytė is also determined to present the workshop, which is based on the study „Out on the Fields“ and H. B. Øvregård work, to the Department of Physical Education and Sports.

The ultimate goal of the judo master – reaching sports federations, sports clubs and schools. I. Ruzgytė also speaks about the establishment of LGBT* sports federation in Lithuania. “Why do we need such a federation, you might ask?” comments Ieva. “There are LGBT* athletes in all countries of the world, Lithuania is no exception! I believe we need an organization, to which athletes could turn before coming out about their sexual orientation and (or) gender identity to couches and teammates, to get advice and support.”