Written by Kade Matthews

Looking to get outside this summer? Make some new friends? Maybe even fulfil last year’s new resolution of losing weight or being more active? Everyone loves putting in the hard yards right at the deadline after all. Well, look no further!

Here at Star Observer, we’ve reached out to sporting organisations around Melbourne and put together a Summer Sports Wrap Up that’s hotter than that one day you forget to pack sunscreen.

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What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold with Australian LGBT Ice Hockey. They started 2019 with a stall at Midumma Carnival simply looking for players to form a team. Heading into the new year President Carl Jackson “is excited to introduce even more people in our community to this incredible sport. The club has grown quickly over the past six months, and we’re looking forward to adding even more players to the roster in 2020.”

You can join a team and learn how to play or hit the ice and develop new skills, with applications open for the new year via the Southern Lights Ice Hockey website.

However, ice cold is a little too much and you want to try your hand at hitting the water, then why not try Melbourne Surge Water Polo a try. The club has seen immense success this year with five out of its six teams making the Victorian State Championship Finals, including its inaugural women’s team. What a way to end the year, as they prepare for even more success at the Melbourne 2020 International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics Championships, hosted in Melbourne at MSAC between 20-25 February 2020.

Got a new year’s resolution for more balance in your life? Ever thought about climbing a rock wall and then relaxing with a movie? Urban Climb Collingwood and ClimbingQTs have partnered for an LGBTQIA+ Uprising event on 13th December. Join them from 6PM for a social climb Urban Climb Collingwood, welcoming climbers of any and all experience levels. Once you’ve hit your peak or your arms and legs can handle no more, relax on a beanbag or cushion in the yoga studio forthe 8pm screening of the award-winning climbing classic, Valley Uprising. Discounted entry of $16 – and bring your own cushions/bean bags.

Bushrangers Basketball. Image supplied

If getting hot, sweaty and up close and personal is your thing then why not try the Melbourne Wranglers Wrestling Club, who return in the new year for more weekly wrestles and competitions.  They are taking a much-needed break over Christmas but will be back on the 10th January 2020 at the new Dominance MMA gym on Harper St in Abbotsford.

Why not get off the court and get into the festive spirit with Bushrangers Basketballs Festive Fund-ranger at The Fox Hotel in Collingwood on Friday 20th December from 6.30PM. Featuring Arm Wrestling, karaoke and more, there’s something everyone can get involved in! It’s been a big year of inclusion for the Bushrangers, and they are looking forward to  a big year in 2020, with a special exhibition match over Midsumma at the Carlton Baths Queer Soiree.

The festive spirit continues this holiday season with queer dancing specialists Dance Cats. Why not perfect your Sunday morning dance moves by boogying to a different beat, as Dance Cats celebrate with an afternoon tea dance party on Saturday 21st December at South Yarra Community Baptist Church. $10 at the door and bring a small plate to share. If you can’t make that  then have no fear, because Dance Cats have the Australian Same Sex Dancesport Championships on Saturday 1st February at Collingwood Town Hall.

The Christmas lunch and dinner calories are always difficult to burn off, but that won’t stop the Melbourne Frontrunners from slowing down. With four running events a week at different locations around Melbourne, why not join them and enjoy the freedom and challenge of good run with friends.

If charging and lifting is more your game, then join the Melbourne Chargers as they start to prepare to compete in the Bingham Cup, the international inclusive rugby tournament. From December 14th, the Chargers have partnered with Optimus High Performance Centre coach Jake Leslie, for a series of Lift and Lunch sessions. Everyone is welcome to attend, but spaces are limited.

The holiday season is really an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the positive impact we have had. Working together as one, the Melbourne Argonauts were shortlisted for Rowing Australia’s Club of the Year in 2019, and although they didn’t take the title, we would like to say congratulations and wish them luck at as they head to the Rutherglen Regatta in January.

Melbourne Surge at Midsumma Sports Precinct. Photo by Dean Arcuri

The Melbourne Rovers will continue their Sunday Social Soccer program, where you can join them at Fawkner Park from 3.30PM to 5.00PM. All skill levels are welcome – just bring your runners, a water bottle and a light & dark shirt. Winter competition starts in February – so now is a great time to get involved.

With the Australian Open rapidly approaching in the new year, you may find yourself looking for a chance to work on that serve or drop shot over summer. VicTennis provides casual games for the community every Sunday at the Malvern Tennis Centre in Armadale from 1PM until 5PM for $15. Come along to have a hit. There is no need to book, just show up with a racquet and running shoes.

Melbourne Smashers have partnered with Midsumma to run Serve It, Smash It, Love It in February, giving everyone a chance to try their hand at badminton in February at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. No experience is necessary. But you don’t need to wait till then, with the Smashers playing most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at MSAC.

You can find out more about all these inclusive sporting teams via their websites or at the Midsumma Carnival Sports Precinct thanks to Proud 2 Play, with representatives from clubs, demonstrations and much more. Go on, give it a try.

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