It was really good to see Cindy Lauper in town last week. In a classic New York drawl she declared, the record company executives told me Girls Just Wanna Have Fun will never sell, and not to bother recording it. Well sometimes you have to tell people like that to f&%# off, and go with an urge.

For all sorts of reasons, some people don’t necessarily play to win, but rather play just for the sake of playing. I watched an opposition team on Sunday fall apart with laughter over their efforts to win a point in a game. Their skills were midway between uncanny and unbelievable: athleticism -“ poor; ability -“ muddling along; result -“ failure; outcome -“ uncontrollable fits of laughter. A few smirks quickly became belly laughs, and spread to the opposition who just shook their heads in amazement at the string of passes that had almost, and only almost, achieved a valuable point.

Yes, it was a social game, and whether it is that we weary of competition with age, or become more accepting of our sporting errors over time, or we just get to know what really gives us satisfaction, it is not unusual to see people having a really good time while playing sport.

We should never underestimate the value, strength and honesty of the friendship bonds that are built. Children who participate in sport are better-adjusted teens, and adults who play sports have a larger social circle. In our community it is very important to note that Team Sydney’s sporting clubs promote an environment that is not just tolerant but openly welcomes anybody wishing to participate.

The physical, emotional and psychologically safe environment is one where members of our community can be themselves. Many young people use gay and lesbian sporting clubs as the place where they come out. Hardly an issue in gay old Sydney, but an enormous obstacle to many from culturally diverse backgrounds, broken homes or homophobic circles in schools or local communities.

So when you come along to Sports Day OUT on October 12, in the grounds of Sydney Boys High School and Moore Park Gardens, remember, this is a place and time to be yourself, and in the diva’s words, girls just wanna have fun.

Visit the Sports Day OUT page on our website: www.teamsydney.org.au for info.

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