Many more gays and lesbians are participating in the Gay Games and Outgames organisations, and in international events on a regular basis. Events such as the Bingham Cup with the Sydney Convicts and the Masters Games – yes, some of us are now older than 30 and still enjoy participating in regular activity – come to mind.

As a result, there are many personal histories of great interest within gay and lesbian sporting organisations. A strict code of “when going away, play away and it stays away” means that some of these stories are (thankfully) never told.

If we fail to remember our roots (now honestly, who can say they are not guilty of that sometimes? What is worse is it gets harder with age – why does our memory fail us on such an important issue?) we risk having to have the same battles again. As sport is generally played when one is younger a true oxymoron occurs – sports history. How can an 18 to 25-year-old (gorgeous) sportsperson understand the importance of sport governance, administration, club history or the battles and victories on the court, field or track? To have an historical perspective one must have some history.

So the young do their own thing, or join in at the various clubs. Rarely do they put their shoulder to the wheel and assist in the administration, day-to-day operation and building of the club structure. If that structure fails the young for some reason, they either complain or vote with their feet – and leave, citing many and varied reasons.

Building an organisation that caters for a multitude of different situations for adults playing sport is harder than finding a drag queen with a golden tongue. Every club faces internal challenges in governance day-to-day operations, simply because gays and lesbians tend to be able to present a case, argue a cause and stand up for their rights.

A strong club harnesses youth, gathers the energy, enjoys the fact that sportspeople’s issues are like boyfriends – we all have too many of them – and allows wiser hands on the tiller to ensure we do learn from history.

If you are interested in sport and its role in the gay and lesbian community and lifestyle, please contact Team Sydney or the sports club of your chosen activity via the website.

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