Top of Page


Join our
mailing list and keep up on the latest news!


Theatre, Music, etc.


August 12, 2011

Swimmers break two world records at SynergyFest

Cleveland--SynergyFest, a multi-sport festival produced by the Cleveland Synergy Foundation, brought 500 people out for competitions as diverse as billiards and swimming. Competitors came from as far away as Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Toronto.

The annual festival, held July 29-31, saw two world records broken in aquatics, as the Illinois U.S. Masters Swimming team set new certified records in the 400- and 800-meter freestyle relay events.

While Synergy made sure to post warnings on their website that staying at parties after 1 am “will prove to be hazardous to playing early the next morning,” there was also a full slate of extracurricular activities for attendees, starting with a registration mixer at the Doubletree Hotel on Lakeside. Competitors got a gift bag, wristband and SynergyFest Tshirt, and had a chance to connect with old friends and make new ones. Also on Friday night, the Basement Beauties threw an island-themed Bunga-Bunga Party at Twist with leis, limbo and pirates.

Sporting events began the next morning with bowling and billiards at the Corner Alley, and swimming, tennis and volleyball at Cleveland State University. That night, athletes had a banquet at Union Café featuring performances by the Marys, Veranda L’Ni and Sonshine LeRay before moving into Bounce for the Find Fred Dance Party. Simultaneously, the Women of the World Party took place at Twist.

Competition wrapped up on Sunday, and championships were awarded. Tennis, swimming and volleyball contests were all sanctioned by the Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance, United States Masters Swimming and the North American Gay Volleyball Association, respectively.

In the spirit of neighborly cooperation, SynergyFest materials encouraged attendees to stay Sunday night so they could participate in Dancin’ in the Streets, the annual dance party benefit for the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland.

Cleveland Synergy Foundation founder W. Douglas Anderson was over the moon at the turnout for the festival and the level of participation.

“It was an incredible success,” he said. “Two USMS world records were broken in the aquatics portion of it, the first time an LGBT event has had world records broken.”

He also noted that 90 percent of participants came from outside Cleveland, which was as much a challenge as a benefit.

“A lot of people brought partners who played different sports,” he said, noting the challenges of accommodating them so they could compete and then watch their partners, or for those who wanted to compete in more than one sport themselves.

He was impressed with the amount of support SynergyFest received from the community, both in volunteers and sponsors.

“We had over 20 volunteers registering participants at the Doubletree alone,” he enthused, noting that the Corner Alley, Cleveland State, John Katsaros of Twist and Ray Lahoti of Union and Bounce had a great symbiosis with SynergyFest--they supported the festival, and it gave the out-of-towners a chance to see what Cleveland had to offer.

“It was phenomenal,” Anderson said.




This material is copyrighted by the Gay People’s Chronicle. Permission is given to repost no more than the headline, byline, and one or two paragraphs, with the full name of the Gay People’s Chronicle and a link to the full article on our website. Reproduction of the entire article is prohibited without specific written permission.








The Web Gay People's Chronicle





Search WWW Search


Top of Page Go Back One Page

© 2008 KWIR Publications
Legal and Privacy Notices