In a situation that is sure to shock the most ardent members of our community, the moving of all things gay to another state has occurred.

Not a miracle in itself, as Jeff Kennett has, since the early ’90s, declared that he would bring ‘Mardi Gras’ home to Melbourne. The hope of that ever happening of course is beyond the blue.

It is not Thanksgiving that is drawing the crowds to Adelaide from the bigger metropolises many of us inhabit, nor is it the promise of power, parades or prominence that makes the American answer to Melbourne Cup Day big on the nation’s capital’s calendar.

Yet it is a fact — the largest annual gathering of volleyballers is on Thanksgiving weekend in Canberra. Hidden amongst the masses are the toughest Freezoners, with the distinguished name of ‘Miss Thailand’ and the girly boys and girls from Kaiata. Melbourne’s seriously competitive teams head to the event, which spans Black Friday to Thanksgiving Sunday.

As if in mockery, Adelaide hosts its Win or Wine event to draw those of us who have come to our senses, realising that competition is only fun for those who have not broken every bone in their legs or arms in their illustrious careers.

Serious about their volleyball, and just a little more so about their wine, the Adelaide Spikers represent all that is good in that town. Warm, friendly club members greet visitors and conduct a tournament that is so much fun for all involved that winning often gets lost in the booming disco beat played in Adelaide’s hippest clubs.

My column followers — yes, I know you both by name — will understand I don’t let many things get in the way of a volleyball training session. Sadly, the auspicious occasion of my arrival at the dubious status of a quintarian must be remembered as the first year since joining Freezone when no training session has been conducted on Thanksgiving Sunday.

In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, sport wins again as partial teams from Sydney join with Melbourne Spikers’ cream — demonstrating just how these sports clubs have matured over the past few years. It is in this spirit of competitiveness and rivalry that Freezoners head to Adelaide and Canberra, Spikers join in and the wonderful team in Adelaide put up with all the baggage we bring with us.

Let’s charge our glasses to winners and winers alike, and drink to the Thanksgiving pilgrimage.

Get moving, join a gay sports club at QSAM: www.queersportsmelbourne.org

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