Tim Sullivan, chairman of London's gay rugby team King's Cross Steelers, and Chris Basiurski, chair of Gay Football Supporters' Network (GFSN), have been selected to carry the Olympic torch in the London 2012 torch relay.
Both athletes have been actively involved in London-based gay sports teams for many years.
Basiurski has played with London-based gay football team Leftfooters. He also sits on the FA Tackling Homophobia in Football Working Group and recently met the prime minister at a reception in Downing Street to talk about diversity in sport.
‘I am delighted and humbled at being chosen to carry the Olympic flame,’ says Basiurski. ‘For many years LGBT footballers have been on the fringes of society and at the GFSN we have worked hard to send out the message that football is for all regardless of sexual orientation’.
GFSN is a network for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender footballing community that tackles homophobia in football and campaigns for equality and diversity in the game.
Sullivan, who led the East London-based Steelers last year to become the European champions in gay and inclusive rugby, now has two exciting goals to look forward to this summer.
'The Steelers are playing in the Bingham Cup - gay rugby's world cup - in Manchester this June,' explains Sullivan. 'Carrying the Olympic torch is great, but my real target is to see the team's captain lift up the Bingham Cup this summer'.
Although nominally a gay team, the King's Cross Steelers welcome all men who are committed to paying rugby, whatever their sexual orientation and level of experience.