An international Gay Polo League has been granted charity status in a boost to the sport that has huge gay participation levels across the world.
The Gay Polo League(GPL) is a sports organization with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members and friends across the United States.
The membership includes international players in Argentina, Australia, China, Canada, England, France and South Africa.
The announcement of nonprofit status means that any donations given to the league are tax deductible and also allows them to apply for Government and foundation grants.
GPL has positioned itself at the forefront of human rights.
Its mission is to inspire and empower individuals who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender through the promotion of and participation in the sport of polo and other equestrian-related sports.
GPL Founder and President Chip McKenney the nonprofit status is a huge step forward for the sports organisation.
“This gives us the ability to continue and expand our commitment to helping a broad spectrum of LGBT charitable organizations,” said McKenney, CEO/CFO of Phelps Media Group.
“Nonprofit status enhances the GPL’s ability to help raise the profiles of athletes who are out, gay and proud.
“We want to encourage youth who don’t think team sports are available to them and influence professional athletes who could be positive role models if they came out of the closet.”
The GPL has been around for ten years and is widely known for conducting its flagship event, the Annual International Gay Polo Tournament, which is going into its eighth year.
For the past several years the tournament has been held at the International Polo Club (IPC) in Wellington Florida, among the most prestigious polo venues in the world.
“While our sexual orientation describes us, it doesn’t define us,” said McKenney.
“We are gay and non-gay. We are young and not so young. We are well educated, well traveled, and sports-minded,” said McKenney, noting that while some members have an equestrian background, others are inexperienced riders.
“Our common bond is a shared passion for polo.”
Last Updated on May 30, 2016