International hockey comes to Berlin this week, as more than 220 hockey players from around the world take part in the annual PinkHockey tournament. Fifteen LGBT teams will be clashing sticks in the friendly(ish) competition, which is being hosted by ARGO IV this Thursday. The tournament is being organised on behalf of the International Gay and Lesbian Field Hockey Federation. Carmen Meinke, Chair from ARGO IV, said: “There was no hesitation when we were asked to host the PinkHockey international tournament in our club this year for there are not many chances for a little club like ours to welcome 220 Players from different countries. We look forward to fun games in relaxed atmosphere and will make every possible effort to make all participants, no matter if player or observer, feel comfort and happy. Inclusion is not an issue in our club, we just live it.” Wolfgang Hillmann from the German Hockey Federation said: “Hockey is a colourful, including pink, attractive sport. The German hockey family wishes all the best to all the participants during the tournament. Many thanks to the Club Argo for hosting such a significant event.” Richard Chere is the Chair of the IGLFHF and explained the continued importance of holding an LGBT tournament: “Hockey is a fun, accessible and inclusive sport for all. Unfortunately not every country can say the same and, in many, being openly gay or lesbian to your sports team can have serious consequences. The PinkHockey tournament is therefore an opportunity to stand up against discrimination and for Berlin to send a positive message to LGBT sportspeople around the world.” Ends Notes About the tournament · The PinkHockey tournament takes place in Berlin from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th July. · 220 competitors and umpires representing more than 12 countries will take part in separate men’s and women’s competitions. The 15 teams taking part are based in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. About the International Gay and Lesbian Field Hockey Federation · The IGLFHF, known as PinkHockey, was launched in 2000 to give every field hockey player a chance to be him- or herself on and around the hockey pitch, and is the international umbrella organisation for LGBT hockey clubs around the world. www.pinkhockey.com · All of the IGLFHF member clubs promote hockey within their respective communities, and offer coaching to everyone from absolute beginners to veteran players. Our youngest members are 18 and our oldest are approaching retirement. · The IGLFHF organises an annual tournament for all member clubs, usually coinciding with global tournaments such as the Gay Games, Outgames or Eurogames. Hockey will be played in Miami in 2017 at the World OutGames and in Paris in 2018 at the Gay Games.