The renowneed queer sportsclub Styrmir has been in hibernation for a while, but now it’s started up again and it’s temporary football coach, Pétur Björgvin Sveinsson, is determined to bring Styrmir to it’s former glory.
For that to be possible he urges every queer person who’s even remotely interested in football to show up at practices and take part. “Styrmir Sportsclub never officially stopped it’s practices,” Pétur says. “But it went into hibernation for a while, not for any particular reason, these things just happen sometimes. But now we are back and have already held a few football practices, which is fitting as the first meetings that the club held were for football.”
Pétur played football with Styrmir in “the old days”, as he puts it, but moved abroad for a while and stopped playing with them. Now he’s back and more eager than ever to make Styrmir great again.
“The National Queer Organisation – Samtökin ’78 – was wonderful enough to sponsor our first practices to make the restoration easier,” he says. “And we are very grateful to them.”
“ … now we are back and have already held a few football practices, which is fitting as the first meetings that the club held were for football.”
Pétur says the next step is checking the interest within the queer community, and if enough people are interested the plan is to meet once a week and play football together.
“I urge everyone to show up at our practices and play with us,” he says. “It does not matter if you’ve never played football before or if you think of yourself as the best football player in the world we want to see you.”
In the practices that have already taken place there have been 10 to 12 people present, which Pétur says is quite impressive, but he obviously wants to reach more queer people and underscores that women are of course welcome too. Styrmir Sportsclub is more a platform for queer people to meet and get to know each other outside the traditional venues of bar and clubs, according to Pétur, and he says he’s especially happy with having gotten the attention of gay refugees in Iceland. “These last few times there have been four gay refugees from Kenya playing with us,” he explains. “Which is wonderful and fulfills our aim to make Styrmir the platform where queers can meet and talk and play together.”
Is being queer a condition for being accepted by Styrmir Sportsclub? “No, not at all,” Pétur says. “But obviously it is a queer club and we are mostly concerned with getting people from the queer community to show up, but everyone is welcome to come and join us.”
The participants in those recent practices have spanned the ages from 18 to over 50 so no one needs to be afraid of being too young or too old to be welcome. But are the players of Styrmir Sportsclub any good? “Some are good, some are not as good but that does not make any difference,” Pétur says with a laugh. “We don’t take our selves too seriously, it’s the company that is the main focus of these practices.”
“First and foremost we are getting to know each other and having fun. So, as I said, you don’t really have to know the first thing about football to be welcome to join us.”
In “the old days” Styrmir Sportsclub played quite a few “serious” games against other teams, is that not the purpose now to make a team to play officially? “We competed in few turnaments in England and the Nordic countries, that’s right,” Pétur confirms.
“And that would definitely be something that we would be interested in doing again if we get enough people to make a team they are ready to stick with. But it’s not the purpose of these practices to form a competing team. First and foremost we are getting to know each other and having fun. So, as I said, you don’t really have to know the first thing about football to be welcome to join us.”
The club has a Facebook page, Styrmir fótbolti, where all information about where and when the fotball players meet are published and Pétur of course urges people to follow the page and stay up to date with what’s happening within the club. So far the players have met at Fífan in Kópavogur at 8 pm on Sunday nights, but that could change so by all means like and follow the page and make an appearance if you’re interested in meeting other queers, play football and have a lot of fun.
Main photo: Styrmir participated in the Outgames in Copenhagen in July 2009. There were quite a few of members who went there and returned with a stack of medals. After that, Styrmir hosted an international swim tournament, the IGLA Championship in Reykjavík in 2012.