There will be fun, there will be flare, and, most importantly, there will be celebration for the difference being made in the sporting community thanks to the efforts undertaken by the International Gay Polo Tournament over the last 14 years. The four days of festivities will come to a head in a majestic polo match only rivaled by the creative tailgate decorations competing in the celebrated GPL Tailgate Competition at the National Polo Center in Wellington, Florida from April 6 – 9, 2023.
Established in 2010, by Chip McKenney, the International Gay Polo Tournament has grown in popularity, creativity, and impact with nearly 3,000 players, attendees, and merrymakers from around the world attending the event annually. Created to generate awareness and to move the needle forward for LGBTQ athletes, the event works to ensure athletes have the same opportunities as non-LGBTQ athletes to compete in a safe place to learn, grow and excel in their sport.
Since its inception, the priority has remained to raise a significant amount of money in support of diversity and inclusion initiatives for other LGBTQ organizations. In 2022, the International Gay Polo Tournament was inducted into the Palm Beach Sports Hall of Fame as the Champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Since forming a 501c3 tax exempt organization, GPL has raised over $165,000 to benefit such groups as the Compass Youth Program, SAGE and onePulse Foundation. The 2023 event will again benefit onePULSE Foundation, an organization born after the tragic events that unfolded at Pulse Nightclub, where 49 people lost their lives in 2016. onePULSE Foundation’s mission is to fund scholarships, create a sanctuary and build a national LGBTQ Museum to honor the victims.
The year’s event is gearing up with a jam-packed itinerary including the GPL Sponsors Reception (by invitation) on Thursday, April 6, 2023; GPL Polotini presents WIGSTOCK! fundraiser on Friday, April 7; the GPL Senator and Founder’s Cup Matches on Saturday, April 8. In addition, the fiercely contested GPL Tailgate Competition also takes place on Saturday, April 8. The final social event will be the GPL Brunch on Sunday, April 9 during the US Open Polo Tournament. Attendees will enjoy a wonderful field-side brunch while watching the United States Open Polo Tournament, a non-gay polo match. Tickets and more info on each event may be found by visiting www.gaypolo.com.
Friends and fans are encouraged to support the event and experience the light-hearted competitive camaraderie by participating in the iconic, world-famous tailgate competition for a chance to be recognized in one of five categories: Best In Show, Best Cuisine, Best Cocktail, Best Single Tailgate, and Best Multiple Tailgate.
Be a part of the sophisticated and spirited competition, where no detail is overlooked and creativity is highly prized, in the viral-worthy social scenes, decor and carefully selected decadent servings. Highlights from past participants recreated moments from Steel Magnolias, Gray Gardens, Brunch at Tiffany’s, Gay Polo League (GPL) Yacht Club, Gert’s 1950’s Beauty Salon, Wizard of Oz, and more.
As they race up and down the field, the rolling thunder of majestic polo ponies complements the cheering and encouragement from the spectators and tailgaters as they witness the GPL Finals Polo Matches featuring LGBTQ+ elite athletes from around the globe.
“We are so grateful to be back this year with an exciting lineup and support,” shared tournament founder Chip McKenney. “We are anticipating our biggest year yet and are thrilled to see the greater impact our event has had. From polo to football, the world of sports is becoming visibly more diverse, and more inclusive and safer for all athletes. We hope to see new faces this year and look forward to seeing longstanding friends on the field!”