The longevity of a gay sports club is an oxymoron. Where do we locate future gay and lesbian sports people?
In the year Team Sydney celebrates 25 years, it may be time to consider that some in our community have played in gay and lesbian sports events for most of those 25 years. A new club member is never told just how long one has been playing, as a lady never reveals her (true) age.
It often takes something major to shake us from stale old ways. A club committee member recently recounted how his club was almost blown apart by a single agenda being pushed ahead of the communal good. With lots of goodwill and a core of people sensing the reality of club longevity, the club is still one of Sydney’s loudest, proudest and largest.
Thinking about how to admit a junior into a gay sports club (from what age is it OK or legal) has raised the issue of growth and new members entering gay and lesbian sporting clubs -” we don’t, after all, have a strong juniors program in the local primary school.
Writing a citation for a new life member Khit Jartnoi, I found the impact of a single individual on Freezone Volleyball was amazing. Whilst the committee has for three years now been adapting, gathering and building membership following the Sydney Gay Games, here was a person who built bridges into the Asian community, and along the way dragged all nationalities and players of all abilities onto the volleyball court.
Hidden in the dance halls, soccer fields and tennis courts are quiet achievers tirelessly guiding attendees to the sports they love.
Strong bonds are built by men and women who care for members of the community. They are not all young. Many are older with years of experience in their sport. Some are champions, Olympians, juniors or Masters. What they have in common is a passion and a goal -” to play and drag us with them.
Small individual sports clubs lack the resources and contacts to ensure young gay and lesbians know where and when member clubs’ and affiliated organisations’ events and games take place. Thankfully here in Sydney it is easy to connect with one of the Team Sydney clubs to Get Out and Play.
Find out where, when and how: www.teamsydney.org.au