Whether it was squatting behind the stumps watching a bowler take their mark, or diving cross-court to return a shuttlecock, sport has been an important vehicle for belonging in my life. Never more so than in my coming out.

I came out in my late 20s, feeling like I was coming incredibly late to the party. I wanted to feel a part of that community that I had admired from afar for so long, but I’d never been at home on the dance floor so finding my tribe on Oxford Street was too terrifying to even contemplate. I was fortunate however that it was not too long before I heard Team Sydney’s call to ‘Get Out & Play’.

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Fast-forward five years, and I write what I hope will be the first of many columns celebrating the diversity, inclusiveness, and vibrance of the queer sporting community here in Sydney. This column, and the ones that I hope will follow, are dedicated to the hardworking volunteers across our numerous queer sporting clubs, who through acts big and small, create a space where many of us finally feel we can belong. Each month I will ride the boundary lines of our various sporting codes, showcasing the character, skills and innovation.

SYDNEY WOMEN’S BASEBALL LEAGUE

After the disappointment of a COVID-cancelled 2020 season that would have been their 25th, it is game on for the Sydney Women’s Baseball League in 2021. An enthusiastically attended Open Day in April has replenished the League’s line-ups and the season is now well underway.

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This month, the Round Four fixture saw the Stealers take on the Saints in the early game on Diamond One. A new-look Saints side made great strides forward, but the Stealers ultimately won the battle, 16-4. Across the park on Diamond Two, the Angels were too strong for the UNSW Lions, in a game that drew a strong crowd. All eyes were on the match of the day, as the Sliders took it to the perennial premiers, the Shamrocks, early. But seniority prevailed in the end with a 13-2 win to the Shammies.

If you have not been down to Mahoney Memorial Reserve in Marrickville during the winter season then you have been missing out. Come Sunday afternoon the park’s two diamonds come alive to a sea of human and canine spectators, complete with a sausage sizzle to rival even that of Bunnings.

For those of you needing an invitation, here it is. To celebrate – belatedly – SWBL’s 25th Anniversary, the League is teaming up with ACON on Sunday, June 27 to host the SWBL Community Cup. This invitational round-robin will be an opportunity for Sydney’s queer sporting codes to see if they can beat SWBL at their own game – all in the name of good fun[draising].

If your sporting league or club would like to be involved, the SWBL Committee welcome you to get in touch through their website – www.swbl.org

If you would like your sporting club to be featured in a future column, please reach out to Star Observer at [email protected]

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