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Ivan Bussens (June 3, 1960 - August 27, 2007) was a British sportsman who competed at water polo at the Gay Games. He was a driving figure in raising the profile of LGBT sport, having co-founded the Out for Sport organization representing gay clubs in London, represented London at the Federation of Gay Games, and served at other international sporting associations.
Bussens was born at Batu Gaja, Malaysia, and educated at Culford School. Having moved to London, he became a fashion buyer, events planner and interior designer. The latter brought prominence with photographers and television companies, and the house he shared with his partner Peter Unsworth featured in magazines and in scenes from ITV's Footballers Wives.
He then founded Out for Sport, an umbrella organization representing gay sports clubs in London, and promoted its first multi-sport competition. He served on the board of the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) and represented London at the Federation of Gay Games. Before his illness he was forging links with the 2012 Olympics and the Mayor of London's office to ensure lesbian and gay inclusion. He persuaded the Out to Swim committee to sponsor a women-only session to encourage more participation, and saw the establishment via a lottery grant of a water polo team in 2000.
One of his most remarkable contributions, though, came at the IGLA championship in San Diego this month, where he staged a Princess of Wales memorial event. This involved our team forming a two-foot wide black Aids ribbon in the pool, to the soundtrack of Tavener's Song for Athene and a voiceover from Ivan.
A joyful funeral took place in Norfolk, where his parents Alan and Cyndie live, and where he is buried.
After fighting cancer during 2006, he suffered a relapse and died in hospital in summer 2007, aged 47. He is survived by his partner, Peter Unsworth and his parents.
- Obituary in The Guardian
- Obituary in The Times
- Gay Games clip featuring Ivan Bussens
- Magazine profile of Ivan Bussens' home