Management team

GGHK is a registered charity organisation, led by passionate volunteers working hard together to help deliver GGHK to Asia and beyond.

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DENNIS PHILIPSE

I just moved to Amsterdam when Gay Games V was held in 1998.

This was the first time Gay Games held outside North-America. I didn’t participate, but attended the Opening Ceremony and several Art Festival events. It was a very hot summer and there were gay people all over the city. The event felt very inclusive and everyone was happy. You could feel the magic in the air.

In 2014 I founded Out in HK, the LGBTQ+ community in Hong Kong for sports, fitness & outdoor events. The community has grown to 6,100+ Facebook members now, and we have organised more than 750 events, building an active LGBTQ+ community together. It’s a great way to connect people, building life-long friendships and change people’s lives.

I started thinking about what else we can do in Hong Kong with this group. I remembered the Gay Games from Amsterdam and I thought it would be a great idea to bring this inclusive event to Hong Kong, the place I love and live in, to unite the community together. I did some research and realised that the Games were never held in Asia. I reached out to the Federation of Gay Games and we had an introduction call in 2015. I grouped several people together, and in 2016 we signed up for the bidding process, which we won in 2017 

I volunteer at GGHK because I believe that GGHK will have a massive positive impact on Hong Kong/Asia, uniting everyone in- and outside the community. The Games are a perfect way to showcase that LGBTQ+ people can do also sports. For many participants it will be an opportunity to participate in an event that’s bigger than themselves, creating a never-to-be-forgotten experience, which will help to create “Asia’s Stonewall moment”. The bid stage already created a positive ripple effect on our community, our team of volunteers and our supporters. It really brought everyone together, and helped us realise our dream to host the first Gay Games in Asia!

I feel very proud and privileged to work together with an amazing team of passionate volunteers to organise GGHK. We all have been working very hard, sometimes it feels like ‘we’re building an airplane in the air while flying it’ as we have many milestones to hit until November 2022!  

Most of my professional life I worked in Technology. Now, I work full-time, as a volunteer, on GGHK and Out in HK. Besides participating in ultra-trail running races, I enjoy organising and participating at Out in HK events to stay fit and meet new friends. I also love to spend time together with my boyfriend, our friends, playing the piano and going to the cinema.

I really love the variety of the city: on one hand you have the 24-hours concrete jungle with skyscrapers, office towers, restaurants and bars, shops, theatres and on the other hand you have the beautiful outdoors with stunning trails, mountains, beaches and islands.

Do you know that 75 percent of Hong Kong’s territory is green and that there are 263 islands? You’ll never get bored in Hong Kong!

LISA LAM

I learned about the Gay Games from my friend, who is a HR recruiter.

The Gay Games is a great cause, if only one individual would feel inspired by what the Games stands for, it’s all worth it.  I have always been interested in skills-based volunteerism, so it seems logical for me to say “yes” when they asked me to join the team as their legal counsel.

I spend about ⅓ of my time on my legal consulting business, ⅓ of my time on various “self-improvement” matters (e.g. exercise, taking courses and volunteering, etc), and ⅓ of my time just “whiling away” (e.g. mostly on traveling or hanging out with friends, etc).

I have not been a very active person, but I enjoy swimming (open waters) and hiking with my dogs.

Hong Kong is my home. I love the city because it’s full of contrast, it’s resilient and… it has lots of great food! Without Hong Kong, I would not have become the person I am today.

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ROBERT CHENG

I first heard about Gay Games Hong Kong in June 2021 when I read of some objections surrounding this event; upon further research, I discovered what a wonderful and unique event the Gay Games is and wanted immediately to get involved. 

As a Hong Kong native who has resettled in this city after a long time abroad, I am excited for the world to experience the vibrancy, diversity and cosmopolitan nature of this city; equally, after a difficult and tumultuous few years, a joyous, inclusive and international event like the Gay Games is exactly what Hong Kong needs as a beacon of unity, joy and resilience. 

I look forward to welcoming participants from near and far to celebrate together in Hong Kong in 2023; until then, hopefully we can expand some hearts and minds, break a bunch of stereotypes and build lots of bridges along the way. On a more personal note, the Games have given me a great reason to restart my tennis training and I am excited (as a spectator not as a participant!!) to see the debut of competitive  cheerleading in Hong Kong. 

So bring on 2023! 

TOMMASO PANERAI

I feel honoured and thankful to join this team and bring my creative experience to help craft this historical international event that is the embodiment of inclusiveness and peace in the name of athleticism: for everyone and open to anyone. This is an accomplishment that not so many decades ago could have been considered too dangerous to even dream of.

Creativity often eludes a specific definition. It can tie together ideas, imagination, and expectations with surprising and unexpected messages to make people feel at ease and intrinsically happy. It can also be leveraged to boost critical conscience by speaking a language nobody has heard before.

This may be our definition of creativity for the Gay Games 11 2022 in Hong Kong. We will translate the spirit of tenderness, cooperation, and fairness into images, colours and imagination, integrated into the courage, fun, and resourcefulness of a city that – for the first time ever in Asia – will officially celebrate our unity in diversity, revealing its real soul beyond sports, borders, and rainbows.

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SHAWN GRIFFIN

I was initially asked if I was interested in joining the team by a former colleague who was already involved with the Games. I was first brought on to Gay Games as a photographer during their initial bid in Paris. I stayed on ever since and assumed various roles as photographer, social media content creator, and Arts & Culture Performance curator before taking on my current role.

I joined the Gay Games in the Arts & Culture role to promote worldwide exposure of young creators in Hong Kong and Asia to a larger audience. Working in Hong Kong’s art scene for the past 7 years has introduced me to the immense talent and wealth of creativity in the region by young artists and LGBT artists who are frequently underrepresented. Gay Games 11 Hong Kong provides a safe, highly visible, and accepting platform for these young LGBT visions to be expressed and I am very excited to be a part of its facilitation.

I live in North Point, which is considered the “old side” of the island. I initially moved to Hong Kong to pursue my MFA in photography and ended up staying on as a permanent resident after graduating. I currently run my own creative services company which puts me in various roles as a photographer, video producer, and copywriter. I am also active in the Hong Kong arts scene and a member of the Hong Kong Arts Collective, contributing to the gallery exhibitions and participating in performances around the city. I am not really involved in team sports, but I remain an active weightlifter and try to keep up with a daily 5k run.

The energy of the city and the attitude of the local residents excites me in Hong Kong. It has a very unique vibe that was instrumental in my artistic inspiration and living in the city is like living in an art piece. The generosity, open-mindedness, and colourful heritage of the city has captivated me for nearly a decade and I am very excited to be a part of bringing The Gay Games to Asia’s World city.

CHARLZ TREVOR NG

I saw Dennis (Co-chair) posting about it online back in 2016 looking for help to curate the bid book. I was immediately drawn to it given its reputation of the world’s biggest LGBTQ Sports and Cultural event, and after hearing how events like this can help to encourage more people to be their true self I decided to reach out to Dennis, Co Chair Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2022 to offer my support. 

A part of me has always wanted to do something to help but didn’t know where to start, until I heard about the Gay Games. That’s when I thought…”this is the time to make an impact.” 

My background comes from events, from attending to organising, I have always loved bringing people together and delivering quality experiences. However, Hong Kong doesn’t really have a lot of places, safe havens if you may, for our community to connect and find acceptance. When people gather, it’s usually about parties, glitter, sometimes drag queens.  These are all important parts of our community, but I felt there could be even more.

While these are great there isn’t a true means of inclusion between the allies and us. What resonates me the most is Gay Games’ core principles: “Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best™”, it brings together people from all over the world, with diversity, respect, equality, solidarity, and sharing. Hong Kong is one of the most diverse cities in the world but we lack communities, initiatives, and resources to promote and penetrate LGBTQ equality across the city. There I thought, if we win the bid as the next host city, this will be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where I can apply what I do best to create that impact I have always wanted to create. There are literally no reasons why I should NOT join the team. I want to share my story, tell people what my identity means to me, and let those who are struggling to know that they are not alone. It is the first step to changing the hearts and minds of those not yet on board with LGBTQ acceptance.

I co-founded an event and marketing agency named Hybrid Group with focus in the fitness and wellness space. We organise a few events such as IRIS: Your Escape which is a local Fitness & Wellness Festival, and Spartan Race, an obstacle course challenge. Both events together attract 60,000 attendees in total and take place twice a year. We also help other companies to create both online and offline marketing campaigns. On the side, I have a boutique gym in Sheung Wan called House Of Fitness which I train 2-3 times a week there, and I have started practicing yoga as my new year’s resolution (in 2020) and have been going on average 3-4 times a week.

What excites me about Hong Kong is the eagerness to change and to become better is almost a life-goal for everyone here. The citizens will get behind you if you are promoting something worthwhile, and I am most excited for how the Games will only mark the beginning of the largest LGBTQ revolution in the history of this urban jungle.

DAVID KO

I was an early volunteer back when Dennis was preparing the bid for the Gay Games and had one of the infamous “coffees” with him, I remember it was at Pottinger Hotel. I subsequently helped to set up and manage the GGHK social media accounts but eventually had to bow out due to work commitments. 

My main motivation is to promote Unity, not just for LGBTQ communities, but everyone, inclusive of all manner of nationality, creed, sexual identity, religion, and politics. Our world has become dangerously divided, especially the past five years, so my hope is that the Games can be a touchpoint to rally and unite. I believe Diversity should be celebrated not feared, revered in the same way that Science and Compassion should be. The human race faces many existential threats such as climate change, mass disinformation, and even income inequality, so it’s essential that we find ways to come together and be a single Tribe so that we can solve these scary big problems. 

I’m a longtime veteran of the Asia marketing industry and currently head up an international digital marketing agency. In my spare time I like to paddle dragon boat and outrigger, and I also occasionally participate in half-marathon races in different cities, back when we could travel freely. 

Hong Kong excites me because it’s a city of contrasts, it’s one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world, yet it’s grounded in tradition and heritage. It’s progressive and welcoming, yet there are pockets of bigotry and division that must be rooted out. It’s my home base, but it gives me the freedom and wherewithal to travel and see the world. 

BRIAN STONE

I first learned of the Gay Games back in 1994 when friends of mine returned from the New York games with gold medals in Soccer. To learn an event so massive existed, where the international LGBT+ community could gather and celebrate their diversity, made me swell with pride. I dreamed that someday I would have the opportunity to participate in such a monumental event. That dream came true in 2006 when I registered and competed in tennis at the Chicago Gay Games.

Winning the bid to bring the Gay Games to Hong Kong inspired me to step up and do everything I can to make the first Gay Games in Asia a success. I still remember the excitement and pride I felt walking onto Soldier Field (massive American Football Stadium) at the opening ceremonies of the Chicago Gay Games in 2006. I felt this tremendous sense of community.

The Asian LGBT+ community deserves the opportunity to have that moment; to experience that profound feeling of knowing they are not alone.

I moved to Hong Kong from San Francisco with my husband, Winston, in July 2015. Less than two years after our move, we welcomed our son Jonas into this world. He is an amazing little boy who keeps me VERY busy. Aside from taking care of our son, I am an avid tennis player. I started playing tennis in 2001 with the San Diego Tennis Federation (SDTF) and played my first GLTA tournament that same year. I have played GLTA tournaments off and on ever since. 

Aside from the tennis, the GLTA tournaments and various club events have been a fantastic social outlet, where I have made many friends over the years. Since moving to Hong Kong, I have had more time to play tennis and have been fortunate to meet some wonderful people that I can hit with regularly during the day. Although I was not able to play in the inaugural Out in HK GLTA tournament, I was able to participate in the 2018 and 2019 tournaments, as well as a couple of tournaments in Australia!

It is an exciting time for the LGBT+ community in Hong Kong. Although Winston and I both struggled with the idea of moving to a city where we believed the “gay scene” or movement was nonexistent, we learned shortly after moving to here that the LGBT+ movement and community
was alive and flourishing. Since moving to Hong Kong, we have been introduced to numerous LGBT+ events, organisations, and activities. We were here to witness High Court Victories giving spousal visa rights to married couples (QT case) as well as taxation and spousal benefits
to married couples (thank you Angus and Scott!).

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DAVID WONG

I was approached to join the Hong Kong bid team in summer 2016. I hadn’t heard of the Gay Games until then and it seemed such a wonderful opportunity to be involved with.

So I was asked to help on the bid submission, this was a 300 page document simply saying how amazing Hong Kong is, how we could bring change to so many people, and of course, how we could host such a world class event, the first time in Asia. Since then, the team has always been busy, winning the bid, “Taking the Flag” from the last games in Paris and now all the plans to make the Hong Kong games the best ever.

I also help with another NGO with their events. It’s a contrast to the corporate world of my previous jobs and rewarding in many different ways. On the sports side, I get to put my running shoes back on and in the Paris Gay Games competed in the running events.

Hong Kong is full of energy. It’s a 24-hour city that’s always on the go. There’s also the abundance of greenery, beaches and hiking routes to perfectly balance the intensity of the neon and hustle bustle. On the same lines, there’s the mix of sky scrappers with the tiny temples tucked in between, the mix of East and West, all making Hong Kong a kaleidoscope of facets.

CHRISTOF WITTIG

My job is to work with partners, from top tier brands to grass root supporters, to help them achieve their goals while raising the funds and value-in-kind contributions required to make the Games possible, for everyone, with little or no regard to the financial means of the participant. I have been a participant of the Gay Games 10 in Paris 2018 in triathlon, half marathon and 10K.  I have seen first hand, how important it is to show visibility in large numbers to foster our values of Participation, Inclusion and Diversity, and what an important role sports and this huge event can play to achieve this.

I volunteer for the Gay Games 11 to further goals that I work on in various roles.  I believe in building communities, which protect and nurture vulnerable communities.  Participatory sports can play a big role, but I also believe in technology.

In my daytime role I am the founder and CEO of Hornet Networks, a Gay Social Network with 25 million users worldwide.  While Hornet is a different platform and a different medium, it has exactly the same goals: building communities, which protect and nurture vulnerable communities.

I can combine my work, which is often remote or includes a lot of travel around the globe, with endurance sports.  I am many times marathon finisher (with all World 6 Majors), a three times AIDS/LifeCycle rider and fundraiser (riding 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to END AIDS), a three times 70.3 Ironman, and recently picked up one of Hong Kong’s unique sports: Trail running, when completing my first UT at the Lantau 70 in fall 2019.

Hong Kong has a lot of energy, a fascinating if not always easy mix between East and West, and the unique co-existence of the most breathtaking vertical high rises with some of the most untouched seaside landscapes, best explored in trail running with good friends, often after nightfall.

ANDREW MURRAY

I was in Paris during the last Gay Games in 2018, the atmosphere was incredible, and seeing so many people from Hong Kong in Paris made me curious, I then realized of course that Hong Kong would be the host city for 2022.

I want to contribute in any way I can to the success of the event, and am so excited to join such an amazingly skilled team of people. My role to head the team that engages with and onboards global corporate sponsors is an exciting challenge and one I am proud to take on. The opportunity to partner with some of the world and Hong Kong’s biggest companies to spread the value of inclusiveness the event represents, is so exciting!

Tell us more about your life in Hong Kong: what do you do in daily life, which sports do you do? 

My daily life revolves around my dogs, my partner and my job. I work for a private banking group, and run my own private wealth division. My dogs wake me up at 4.30am every day, and I thank them for it, it lets me walk them, gym and get ready for the day. The main sports I enjoy are going to the gym, walking and swimming.

From the first time I came to Hong Kong when I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to live here one day. After living here now for 6 years, I am still ennamored by all the city has to offer. The natural beauty, watching birds of prey fly past my office window every day, to seeing a porcupine on my street in the morning, the variety is so amazing. The efficiency and compactness of the city means no where is far away, beach, mountain, jungle, city, all are within a tiny area, which makes Hong Kong such a unique and special place, that I feel so proud to call my home. 

GREG MORLEY

I joined the GGHK team in 2018 and have the pleasure of working with this great group of people to attract, onboard and motivate a great team that will deliver a once in a lifetime event for the people of Hong Kong and Asia.

My husband and I travelled to Paris to participate in Gay Games.  We had lived in Paris and returning there is always special to us.  Participating in Gay Games in Paris was and incredible experience from travelling with friends, to entering the stadium to the closing party, it was a week filled with amazing moments. 

I met several people from Mainland China at Paris Gay Games. It was the first big gay/inclusion event they had ever joined. I was touched by how much it positively impacted their view of the gay world and of the positive life they could live being gay. I had to be part of sharing that kind of experience with people across Asia.

I moved to Hong Kong 15 years ago.  With my husband and our dog, we love hiking, yoga (sometimes with the dog) and gym sports.  Shawn swims competitively. 

 Hong Kong is dynamic, fast paced and cosmopolitan, accessible to the rest of the world.  It is also a village of 7 million. I have never felt more at home anywhere, seeing people every day on the streets whom I know.  It is home.

JACKIE VIEROW

Having started as a Project Lead for the sports sector, my role has expanded to include the wider organisation. 

I have always been passionate about sports and when I found out that Hong Kong had won the bid, I immediately looked for ways I could get involved. The Gay Games provides such an inclusive and accepting environment, which will be hugely beneficial to the people of Hong Kong. 

Sports have an amazing ability to foster a sense of community and provide role models who empower others to find their voice. I hope to be a part of this empowerment by helping to increase awareness and participation across Hong Kong.

I have always been extremely enthusiastic when it comes to sports, as I jump at the opportunity to try anything new. In my 10 years in Hong Kong I have enjoyed cycling, running, swimming, triathlon, softball, rock climbing, badminton, tennis, basketball, sailing, and golf. Hong Kong may be known for its densely populated city, but sports enable people to experience the beautiful nature that Hong Kong also has on offer. 

There are few places in the world where you can enjoy the city, mountains, and ocean almost all at once. You can wake up and take a dip in the ocean before work and enjoy a mountain trail hike on the way home to your apartment in the middle of the city! On top of that, Hong Kong is rich in culture with an incredible food scene that includes local street food all the way through to elevated cuisine from all over the world.  

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NIGEL LEE

While hiking with out in Hong Kong I was chatting to Co-Chair Dennis who told me about the Gay Games in Amsterdam and his idea to bring the games to Hong Kong and Asia for the first time.

I joined early-on as part of the bid team.  I started wanting to help out some friends, but GGHK team is now my second family and the biggest passion in my life.  I have seen the gay games change peoples lives and make them happier and more fulfilled. I want to share this opportunity with as many people as possible in HK

Sadly my work brought me back to the UK but I am still working with the GGHK team from here.  Helping with outreach events in London, working with the FGG and working on insurance needs for the event. 

My day job is as Operations and Compliance Director for an insurance business.  I swim before work and run at weekends. I am running a 10k each year up to 2022 with the aim of raising HK$10k per year for the GGHK Scholarship fund.

I loved living in HK for 5 years – walking to work, the gym and the forest to walk my dog while the beach was only 20 minutes away.  Mix of wonderful people, foods and culture. A must see place to visit on everyone’s bucket list. I want to make HK my home again one day soon.

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