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18 Hosting the World's Largest LGBTQ Single-sport, Week-long Annual Softball Tournament Isn't a "Soft" Job!
JULY- AUGUST 2018 COMPETENETWORK.COM ONE-ON-ONE 16 Billy Bean: Helping Change MLB for the Better MVP 24 Scott Fullerton SPORTS 22 2 018 NAGAAA Hall of Fame Inductees 27 2 018 ASANA Series Coming to a Screen Near You 30 G ray Ducks Migrating From Minnesota to Paris 36 2 018 TNYA Swim Camp Swimmers Talk Paris & IGLA 38 V arsity Gay League's Multi-Sport Festival Comes to San Diego SPORTS DIVERSITY 34 Capital Rugby Union Earning Sports Diversity Certification FROM COMPETENETWORK.COM 40 A lone In The Game GYM BAG 42 H ot Items You Shouldn't Do Without EVENTS 44 Calendar of Events
Sun, Sand & Varsity Gay League Sports
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Compete Online Do you love to Compete? Get with the game and shop our online store, subscribe to Compete Magazine, read the hottest news blogs and check out the latest videos online at CompeteNetwork.com. MODEL: NICK SANDELL PHOTOS BY PATRICK LENTZ PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN
THE GAMES OF SUMMER
A SUMMER FILLED WITH SPORTS BY JARED GARDUNO
or athletes and sports lovers alike, summer is a special time for sports. Being outside in the sunshine with the breezes blowing on your face as you play or watching your favorite game makes for one of the season’s greatest experiences. And then you and your friends can gather in your favorite watering hole to relive the day (maybe even exaggerate your prowess a bit) to make it the perfect end to the perfect day. This summer season is filled with extra opportunities for athletes, officials and fans to participate in their sports of choice. In addition to regularly scheduled sports activities at the local level, this is the time for NAGAAA, the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance to hold its 42nd annual Gay Softball World Series (GSWS), this year in Tampa Bay. While some sports have seen a decline in player involvement, NAGAAA, with its emphasis on inclusion has continued to grow. Its members throughout the U.S. and Canada include players who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight as well as male and female. This year over 5,000 athletes plus family members, friends and fans will be cheering their favorites from among more than 200 teams vying for the big win. And this year it’s time for the long awaited Gay Games 10 being held in Paris! Once every four years LGBTQ and straight athletes, artists and activists from around the world come together to experience an event where all are welcome. This year’s Games are offering at least 36 sports and 14 cultural events, keeping alive the core principles of its founder, Olympian Dr. Tom Waddell - Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best™. The final count of Gay Games participants this year is 10,317, and thanks to a strong scholarship program by the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), hundreds of them are coming from highly underserved countries and communities. For many if not all these participants, it’s their first opportunity to experience the Gay Games 10 tag line of All Equal. Even if you can’t attend the GSWS or the Gay Games, keep your eye on our social media for all the latest on what’s definitely a great summer filled with sports. And don't forget to send in your nominations for our Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year award! The winner is based on his or her commitment to personal achievement, active participation in an individual or team sport, commitment to supporting/encouraging others in sports and a commitment to the LGBTQ sports community and/or the LGBTQ community. Send your applications to: competenetwork.com/aoty.
JARED GARDUNO, SDL firstname.lastname@example.org @jaredgarduno
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NAGAAA COMMISSIONER’S LETTER
MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER BIG SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
sk anyone who has ever attended the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association’s (NAGAAA) Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) in the past and you will hear, “It’s more than just a big softball competition.”
Although the 2018 NAGAAA GSWS will set a record for the most teams in attendance — over 200 teams converging on Tampa the week of Labor Day, September 3-8 -the event doesn’t feel like just another big softball tournament. Even though it’s the largest LGBTQ single-sport, week-long annual event in the world to the outside world, to us it’s a homecoming and a chance to spend a week with friends. It has its big moments, including an Olympic-style opening ceremony with 45-member associations’ flags being presented, sponsors and local officials speaking from the stage, food, beverages and live entertainment – all to kick off the week of events and tournament play. And teams still travel from all over the U.S. and Canada to participate in the annual GSWS for the opportunity be with athletic, like-minded people and play in a safe and welcoming tournament. The tournament even has big name brands like Prudential, Nissan, Jostens, MillerCoors/Coors Light, Tito’s and many others that have continued to step up in support of NAGAAA and our marquee event, the annual GSWS. The biggest surprise for our partners when they attend the GSWS is the impact they have made on our community and the loyalty that comes with it. No matter how big the event gets, the Gay Softball World Series is a welcoming place where people can feel included for who they are and play some great softball, too. For most of the participants and fans, Tampa will be their last summer vacation destination; it will reunite old friends, build stronger bonds with chosen families and form new friendships. In addition to an opening ceremony, other events during the week include the Hall of Fame Dinner on Tuesday, the charity event on Wednesday, Friday Night Lights and the closing ceremony on Saturday. Come out and join us for some great softball and stay for all the fun events. I promise – you actually will be surprised at how well the tournament is run, how entertaining the events are and how welcoming the city is to NAGAAA players and fans. Support gay softball at the 2018 NAGAAA GSWS in Tampa. Visit gaysoftballworldseries.org for more information about this year’s event. Thank you.
Chris Balton, SDL, Commissioner NAGAAA (North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance)
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COMPETE EDITORS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Connie Wardman, M.A., SDLT A graduate of Chatham University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Connie is an adult educator by profession and has a Master's Degree in Adult and Community Education. She has been the editor of Compete Magazine since 2011. HEALTH EDITOR Dr. John Sutherland A graduate of Harvard and the University of Michigan Medical School, Dr. John Sutherland is a board certified internist and cardiologist and the founder of the North Mountain Cardio programs for health and wellbeing. COMMUNITY EDITOR AT LARGE Ty Nolan An experienced LGBTQ community counselor, Ty is also a Native American storyteller and a USA Today and New York Times Best Selling Author, winning the 2014 BP Readers Choice Award for "Coyote Still Going: Native American Legends and Contemporary Stories." STYLE EDITOR Bobby Ciletti A graduate of Boston University, Bobby is a lifestyle and travel expert and founder of TheDaysoftheChic.com, an online destination for simply elegant living. Twitter @bobbyciletti Advisory Board D.J. Doran, Diversitas Media Dr. William Kapfer, JP Morgan Chase Angela Smith, ASANA Jake Mason, USA Dodgeball SDLC Executive Advisory Committee Eric Carlyle, SDLT Patrick Higgins, SDLT, Connect Sports Catherine Kelly, SDLT, NAGAAA MISSION STATEMENT Compete unites the world through sports. COMPETENETWORK.COM FACEBOOK.COM/COMPETEMAG @COMPETESPORTS COMPETE MAGAZINE INSTAGRAM.COM/COMPETEMAGAZINE
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PUBLISHER/CEO Eric Carlyle • email@example.com COMPETE MAGAZINE Editor-in-Chief Connie Wardman • firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Editor Dirk Smith • email@example.com Health Editor Dr. John Sutherland • firstname.lastname@example.org Fitness Editor Jake Tommerup • email@example.com Style Editor Bobby Ciletti • firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Heather Brown • email@example.com Graphic Designer Kristi Wayland • firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors Ryan Adams, Harry Andrew, Ian Colgate, Ryan Evans, Jared Garduno, Aurelio Giordano, Catherine (CJ) Kelly, Kelli Kulick, Miriam Latto, Bryan Lee, Kevin Majoros Clay Partain, Brian Patrick, Elaine Wessel , Andy Winder. Staff Photographer Ariel Stevens • email@example.com COO/Consultant Barbara Harwell • firstname.lastname@example.org Sales & Operations Vice President Jared Garduno • email@example.com Administration Bethany Harvat • firstname.lastname@example.org SDLC Program Coordinator Raleigh Dombek • email@example.com Copyright © 2018 MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC All Rights Reserved. All Mail PO Box 2756 Scottsdale, AZ 85252 • (800) 868-5906 Corporate Office 6991 East Camelback Road, Suite D-300 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 West Coast Office 3415 South Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034 East Coast Office 100 Church Street, 8th Floor New York City, NY 10007 Compete is a trademark of Media Out Loud, LLC
Sports Diversity Leadership Council, Sports Diversity Leader and SDL are trademarks of Media Out Loud, LLC. Compete is available by subscription, online, on the Compete app, at local and national events and at 250+ pick up locations nationwide.
COMPETEâ€™S PETEY IS BACK TO HEADLINE THE 2018 AWARDS AND MORE We are excited to announce the 2018 Compete Sports Diversity Awards, also known as the 9th Annual Petey Awards! This year the awards and its accompanying events will be hosted in Tempe, Scottsdale and Mesa, Arizona. Tickets available at www.sportsdiversityawards.com. Friday, November 9 Welcome Reception 6:00-7:00 p.m. Saturday, November 10 8th Sports Diversity Leadership Conference 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Saturday, November 10 9th Annual Petey Awards Registration and reception â€“ 6:00-7:00 p.m. Main Event - 7:00-10:00 p.m. Sunday, November 11 The Morning After Petey Awards Community Brunch 10:00 a.m.-Noon Please join Petey with the sports diversity leaders from Compete Magazine, SDLC member organizations and athletes for a impactful collaborative experience with some added camaraderie and fun!
MILLENNIAL ON SPORTS
I'M GOING TO THE GAY GAMES BY DIRK SMITH
ow, this summer has flown by fast. In fact, the last four years have flown by fast. It feels like just last year that I flew home from the Gay Games in Cleveland. And yet here I am getting ready to go to Paris!
The Paris 2018 Gay Games will be my third Gay Games. In addition to the 2014 games in Cleveland, I also took part in the 2010 Games in Cologne, Germany. Going to the 2010 Games was my first real foray in experiencing the international world of LGBTQ+ Sports … AND doing it as a baby-faced 21-year-old. It was my first big solo trip overseas as an adult. While I have traveled quite a lot since then to some truly amazing places, that first trip to Cologne will always be in my heart as one of the best I’ve ever taken. The experience of participating in the Games itself really made the trip special for me – from marching in the opening ceremonies and taking part of the festivities to swimming and competing. And then meeting all sorts of new friends from around the world, many of whom I still keep in touch with, to stepping outside my comfort zone and discovering what the world can truly offer. Eight years later I have definitely learned a lot and have grown up quite a bit. But as I make the trip to Paris I am going with the same excitement and passion that I had prior to my other two Games. However, this year will be a new experience for me as well since I won’t just be going to compete as a swimmer. I will also be taking the time to report for Compete Magazine on what I learn about the people at the event, on how Paris is welcoming us to these Games and what the Gay Games movement truly means for the LGBTQ+ sports community in attendance. This Gay Games will definitely be an important run for me after my bad experiences at another poorly organized large LGBTQ+ sporting event in the recent past. I am most definitely ready for one that truly understands what it means to put on a well-organized, high quality event. My observations of Paris so far have been … optimistic. So I am very much looking forward to seeing what Paris has to offer. In addition to sharing my experiences along with stories and adventures from other athletes, hopefully I’ll also be getting a sneak peek at the preparations for the 2022 Gay Games in Hong Kong and learning more about what the Gay Games movement has planned for the future. Be sure to follow Compete Magazine on social media and check in on regularly on www.competenetwork.com because there will be a lot of updates on Paris when the games begin!
Dirk Smith, SDL Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org @competedirk
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FAVORITE PIECE OF SOFTBALL EQUIPMENT?
COMPETE READER SURVEY & GRANDSTANDING
LETTERS to COMPETE GRANDSTANDING
Someone’s Cleats Are Someone Else’s Six-Inch Heels Wow! I really enjoyed reading your Pride issue from cover to cover. Shangela is one of my favorite RuPaul contestants and should have gone all the way this season. My sport is softball and Shangela’s is drag but we are both competitors. Dale Kinsey Cleveland, Ohio Robbie Rogers Remains Relevant It was great seeing Robbie Rogers in the MayJune issue of Compete Magazine. Robbie is truly inspiring and still very relevant in his retirement. Cooper Oliphant Dallas, Texas
Please submit all Letters to Compete via email to email@example.com.
As an early leader in the sports diversity movement, Compete Magazine gives out High Fives each month to deserving athletes, teams, leagues, organizations and corporations as well as high profile celebrities for their contributions to promote diversity, inclusion, equality and acceptance for all. Here are five who get a High Five for a job well done!
PROFESSIONAL MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER PLAYER … for having the courage to come out as gay, making him now the only openly LGBTQ athlete in U.S. professional team sports. Collin Martin Tweets: “Tonight my team, Minnesota United, is having their Pride night. It’s an important night for me – I’ll be announcing for the first time publicly that I am an openly gay player in Major League Soccer. I have been out as a gay man for many years to my family and friends, and this includes my teammates. I have played Major League Soccer for 6 seasons: 4 seasons with DC United and 2 seasons with Minnesota United. Today, I’m proud that my entire team and the management of Minnesota United know that I am gay. I have received only kindness and acceptance from everyone in Major League Soccer and that has made the decision to come out publicly that much easier. “As we celebrate Pride night, I want to thank my teammates for their unconditional support for who I am. In light of my experience as a professional athlete, I want to take this moment to encourage others who play sports professionally or otherwise to have confidence that sport will welcome them wholeheartedly. June is Pride month, and I am proud to be playing for Pride, and to be playing as an out gay man.” Used with permission of Collin Martin CATHERINE (CJ) KELLY, SDL, NAGAAA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR … for being selected to serve on Connect Sports’ Marketplace Advisory Board. LEBRON JAMES, NBA LAKERS … for opening his "I Promise" school for at-risk kids in Akron which includes full wraparound support for students and their families. James said, "... Akron, Ohio is always home for me. Always." COMETOPLAY.ORG … for hosting NAGAAA’s Gay Softball World Series 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. Join the Come to Play team headed by Scott Switzer, executive director and director of FUNdraising/special events, Terri Goddard. NATIONAL VETERANS WHEELCHAIR GAMES (NVWG) … for holding its 38th NVWG in Orlando. The largest annual wheelchair sports competition of its kind in the world, more than 750 athletes are expected to participate in a full menu of adaptive sports.
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BILLYHelping BEAN: Change MLB for the Better BY CONNIE WARDMAN
Photo courtesy of Billy Bean
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ONE-ON-ONE Billy Bean is still the only openly gay MLB league player (current or former) alive since he out as gay in 1999 following his retirement from the game.
C: And what do you consider your most important professional achievement? BB: Playing six seasons in Major League Baseball.
In 2014 he was named MLB’s first Ambassador of Inclusion by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Bean’s ability to talk to front office executives and staff as well as team owners, staff and the players as a former colleague who knows and loves the game and its traditions, has enabled him to make steady inroads in the league’s change in culture toward increased diversity and inclusion. As a result of his work, in 2017 Bean was promoted to vice president and special assistant to the league’s commissioner. Now a senior advisor to the commissioner, his responsibility also includes bringing awareness and educational resources to all players, managers, coaches, umpires, minor leaguers, and stakeholders in MLB to ensure an equitable and inclusive workplace for everyone. Compete: Billy, I know how busy your schedule is, especially visiting teams at Spring Training and a number of Pride Nights with MLB teams over the spring and summer. But the Gay Games are coming in August and you are listed as one of their ambassadors. Will you be able to go to Paris and compete in some of the sports? Billy Bean: Unfortunately my MLB work schedule will not allow me to attend the Paris Gay Games. I would love to compete in the Games (tennis) as well as represent our community as an ambassador. C: With all that you faced as a closeted gay athlete while playing in MLB during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, what do you consider your most important personal achievement? BB: Every achievement in my life has given me determination to learn more, to get more involved in causes that are important to me, to be a better role model to my community and live a meaningful life that strives to inspire others to be the very best they can be.
C: What does your role as the MLB vice president and special assistant to Commissioner Manfred entail? BB: My role as vice president and special assistant to the commissioner is multi-dimensional. My responsibilities begin with creating socially responsible educational resources for our major and minor league players for all 30 clubs. I also help oversee an MLB education program (Ahead in the Count), an MLB bullying prevention program (Shred-Hate Program) and a military internship employment program for MLB. C: Since you have said that you don’t measure success by the number of closeted MLB players coming out, how do you measure your success and that of MLB?
BB: We have never wavered from our goal to grow and sustain an accepting, respectful and inclusive culture in our clubhouses, front offices and our ballparks. As a former player, I work very hard to cultivate my relationships with MLB managers, coaches, front office executives and players. Our message is embraced throughout the sport and I feel we have made tremendous strides throughout the league since my return to the game. C: Thanks so much for your time, Billy. You are a true inspiration to the entire sports community! If you’d like to know more about Billy Bean’s journey as a closeted professional athlete, his book, “Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life In and Out of Major League Baseball” is available on Amazon.com.
Photo: Milwaukee GSWS 2009 Opening Ceremony: Courtesy of NAGAAA Archives
HOSTING THE LARGEST ANNUAL LGBTQ SOFT BALL TOURNAMENT
ISN’T A “SOFT” JOB! BY CATHERINE (CJ) KELLY, SDL The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) has been hosting the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) for over four decades. From delegate meetings to the parties and charity events to the actual five-day tournament, NAGAAA could not produce this ten-day event without the dedication of a local host committee and the assistance of countless volunteers. No matter which of NAGAAA’s 45-member associations/host cities decide to bid on this mammoth event annually, only one host city wins the bid and accepts the two-year challenge that lies ahead. Several cities have played host for more than one GSWS: San Francisco leads with four times; next are Milwaukee and Dallas with three times each; then 11 other cities which have hosted twice, including Toronto which hosted in both 1981 and 2000. Two years of planning, fundraising, recruiting and coordination starts the day the GSWS bid is awarded to a city. But most people forget the year leading up to the bid, a year of research, networking, contract negotiations and site selection — hotels, event venues and sports complexes. Once all that is complete, the actual two-year countdown to hosting the GSWS begins. So why does a city decide to take on the challenge? With over 200 teams converging on Tampa this year, bringing an estimated 5,000 visitors and an expected $12 million in economic impact, the pressure must be intense. We sat down with several past NAGAAA GSWS Host Committee Chairs to learn more about why they hosted the GSWS.
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HOSTING THE LARGEST LGBTQ SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
Photo: Portland GSWS 2017 Opening Ceremony: Photo courtesy of Larry Barthel, Triquetra Productions
AUSTIN, TEXAS Rich Segal, 2016 Austin Host Committee Chair said, “Austin, Texas hosted its first major gay sporting event in August 2016. There was great anticipation in having players, coaches and fans from across the country coming to the capital city to play a sport we all love. We were prepared for two years of work and sweat - and "discussions" - as we built towards the big week. “We knew heat would be the biggest challenge. The average high temperature in Austin the third week in August is 97 degrees but it wasn’t uncommon for temperatures that week to reach 100° with the heat index near 105° during the 2-6 p.m. time frame. So best practices dictated air-conditioned tents at all three softball complexes. Unfortunately, that plan wasn’t needed because it rained … every day! Nothing could be done about that.” Yet Softball Austin has grown each of the last two years, due in part to putting on a tournament in spite of the obstacle Mother Nature created. “I wouldn't trade the experience of doing a GSWS for anything I've ever done in softball, Segal concluded. “In spite of the rain, there were five division champions crowned in an abbreviated tournament. My biggest takeaway is watching players from other cities showing up at the complexes to help get rid of water from the fields as part of the drying process. That just furthered my love for NAGAAA as the family we are.”
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN Mona Garcia, 2009 Milwaukee Host Committee Chair said, “Even though I’d been involved attending NAGAAA meetings for a couple years, being co-director of the 2009 GSWS was my first exposure to working directly with the NAGAAA executive board. That was an incredible opportunity to learn what it takes to host an event the magnitude of the GSWS. I was suddenly in a position to influence the involvement of so many league members who until that point had little exposure to NAGAAA. Meeting with city leadership, potential sponsors and the local Visitors Bureau was not only exhilarating but also occasionally frustrating when some things we outlined for them appeared exaggerated to some of them. They learned quickly that this event would be huge on many levels.” GSWS committee meetings brought a new cohesiveness to Milwaukee’s SSBL (Summer Softball League); members were very proud of their involvement showing off the city and making city leadership proud of the successful event. The 128 teams Milwaukee hosted had an economic impact of over $4 million, a result that to date is still talked about. “This is true not only in Milwaukee but also at each GSWS since then; there are players who still ask if I'm the Mona who worked on the GSWS,” she recalled. “Their recollection of the fun they had in Milwaukee makes me so very happy. I couldn't be prouder of that legacy.”
Portland GSWS 2017: Photo courtesty of Larry Barthel, Triquetra Productions
HOSTING THE LARGEST LGBTQ SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
Hosting a GSWS is not without challenges, the biggest one in Milwaukee was being the trail blazer for the street parties and moving the charity event outside the host hotel. “Oh, how I remember the discussions about that during the host city committee/board calls,” said Garcia. “Our mission was to raise the bar in the right way, all with positive experience for the players.” It resulted not only in local pride but also how many more players now recognize the importance of NAGAAA in regard to national and international exposure and awareness of the LGBTQ community. “Personally, I was postured to prove that I'm not a straight ally that just wants to hang around but someone who wants to help the LGBTQ community keep moving forward,” she stated proudly. “Hosting a GSWS has so many rewards, including showing off the city we love and being part of a positive impact for it and making so many wonderful friendships along the way.”
PORTLAND, OREGON Roy Melani, 2017 Portland Host Committee Chair said that having now hosted twice in 15 years, this was the most gratifying volunteer work he has ever done. Portland was put on the map as a city that is both progressive and lots of fun. Portland hosted its first GSWS in 2002, the first following the 9/11 terrorist attack. “Our tribute to the fallen softball player in the twin towers was one of my personal highlights,” Melani expressed. “The New York contingent was given black balloons to release as a soloist sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and then a rainbow release of balloons happened – it was very emotional and powerful.” Fifteen years later Melani had another highlight at Portland’s 2017 GSWS opening ceremonies. “With 4,000 people and our video tribute to those softball community members we lost this past year with “Seasons of Love” by the Glee cast playing in the background, our city will never be the same. There are always challenges; in Portland it was getting people to follow through on their commitment
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to volunteer. With 300+ volunteer slots for each GSWS, volunteers play an enormous role in ensuring a successful event. “What makes the GSWS tick,” said Melani “IS the volunteers. My experience in a few words is LIFE CHANGING! It has been a desire of mine to give back to our LGBTQ sports community and what better way than the GSWS. Striving to show the world that gays can play sports and do it well while also enabling those who never thought sports were an option to experience a great event!” The Portland Rose City Softball league has grown from 10 open teams to 18 since 2002 and there is a renewed excitement for the GSWS. “Through gay softball we are truly providing a safe space for gay men and women to compete,” Melani concluded. “Only one team wins each division but we all win with the experience of a lifetime. That has been my experience from the last 22 GSWS events that I’ve attended.”
DALLAS, TEXAS Ryan Holdhusen, 2014 Dallas Host Committee Chair said, “I had played in PSSA (Dallas league) since 2006 and really was involved only as a player and coach. I loved my league and traveled to a number of tournaments where I started meeting more and more people. Because of my background in event planning and my desire to get more involved with NAGAAA, it was my honor and a thrill of a lifetime to be the vice president of the 2014 GSWS in Dallas.” Holdhusen oversaw all official events and added a few new events just for the 2014 GSWS. Dallas faced a number of challenges, like staffing a week-long event and moving literally tons of water around to various fields. But the committee was able to connect and partner with LGBTQ organizations in the corporate world and loyal local league members and fans to make sure everyone was treated with Dallas’ best hospitality. With the weather cooperating, the GSWS was even able to tie into Dallas’ annual Pride celebration. There were big parties on each end of the GSWS and people came in early to celebrate and stayed until the final street party closed out the 2014 GSWS. “Personally,” said Holdhusen, “it was the start of a lot more involvement in NAGAAA which has been extremely rewarding and fun. I now have friends in every NAGAAA league and my chosen family continues to grow. It's a brotherhood/ sisterhood that is unlike any other. The GSWS is ground zero for all the good that NAGAAA stands for. “Our community came out in droves to volunteer, cheer, party and found many other ways to get involved in the event,” he continued. “Our membership has continually grown from year-to-year and our local
HOSTING THE LARGEST LGBTQ SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT businesses and community can't quit asking when we will do it all over again. I see another GSWS in the cards for Dallas in the next five years … or less!”
COLUMBUS, OHIO Dallas Aldridge, 2010 and 2015 Columbus Host Committee Chair (also bidding for 2020) said, “Money and people are always the biggest challenges. Raising funds to ensure the events you plan are successful can be extremely stressful and time consuming. You can’t start planning for the vision you have until you have the funding to pull it off. People are the next biggest challenges,” he continued. “You are asking a committee of people to volunteer their time for over two years. The time commitment can be overwhelming to some but in the end, it has provided some of my best and most supportive friends. When you live an experience like this event, it becomes a part of who you are.” Visibility in the community has been Columbus’ biggest change. The Greater Columbus Sports Commission has embraced the efforts of the Columbus Lesbian & Gay Softball Association (CLGSA) and uses the CLGSA events in promotions throughout the year. The Sports Commission continues to say that Columbus hosting the GSWS resulted in several other events looking harder at Columbus and deciding to host their events here, including the NCAA Women’s Final Four. After hosting the GSWS twice in five years, the city is
continuing to expand its support for future hosting opportunities and the community is excited and wants to see it come back often. “You begin this process with a vision and need to turn that vision into reality,” Aldridge recalls. “The feeling when you are on the stage at the opening ceremonies and you see the crowds of people excited for the week is overwhelming. As you watch the event unfold, you see the smiles, laughter, tears, heartbreak and love all around. Even with all the emotions, the sportsmanship is stronger in this event than any other you will find. The games end and the teams shake hands and usually a few hugs; it’s about respect and support for everyone. Three years later I still have people thanking me for their experience volunteering at the event and want to be involved again. Being able to see an impact on others is the greatest gift I could ever be given from this event.” Pride in showcasing the city in which they live is a huge reason our member associations make the commitment to host a Gay Softball World Series. It’s pride for their cities; pride for their leagues and communities; pride for gay softball! If you want the GSWS to come to your community, reach out to your local NAGAAA member association (http://www.nagaaasoftball.org/ member-cities/). For a complete listing of all GSWS destinations, see the chart below.
2019, Kansas City, MO
2008, Seattle, WA
1997, San Diego, CA
1985, Milwaukee, WI
2018, Tampa, FL
2007, Phoenix, AZ
1996, Minneapolis, MN
1984., Houston, TX
2017, Portland, OR
2006, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 1995, Seattle, WA
1983, Chicago, IL
2016, Austin, TX
2005, San Diego, CA
1994, Nashville, TN
1982, San Francisco, CA
2015, Columbus, OH
2004, Dallas, TX
1992, Los Angeles, CA
1981, Toronto, Canada
2014, Dallas, TX
2003, Washington D.C.
1991, Boston, MA
1980, Los Angeles, CA
2013, Washington, D.C.
2002, Portland, OR
1990, Pittsburgh, PA
1979, Milwaukee, WI
2012, Minneapolis, MN
2001, San Francisco, CA
1989, Atlanta, GA
1978, New York, NY
2011, Chicago, IL
2000, Toronto, Canada
1988, Dallas, TX
1977, San Francisco, CA
2010, Columbus, OH
1999, Kansas City, MO
1987, San Francisco, CA
2009, Milwaukee, WI
1998, Atlanta, GA
1986, New York/New Haven
ANNOUNCING NAGAAA’S 2018 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES BY CATHERINE (CJ) KELLY, SDL
Each year the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance family (better known as NAGAAA) gets together to nominate those who have contributed significantly both to their leagues and to NAGAAA on an international level. These high-achieving, dedicated nominees are then paired down to a select few who become the new annual inductee class of the NAGAAA Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is the highest honor NAGAAA can bestow on one of its individual members based on the vast and significant contributions he or she has made to NAGAAA over the years. Their Hall of Fame nomination and induction marks them as pioneers and innovators and we recognize that it is on their backs that our organization was built.
These inductees have realized the importance of investing in our current and future league members through their coaching, mentoring and management efforts as well as their attendance at regional tournaments and annual Gay Softball World Series (GSWS). Their constant support has contributed to NAGAAA’s continuing influence and growth. Each year NAGAAA hosts a dinner and invites current Hall of Fame members to return and join in the evening’s celebration – to remember our history and the individuals who created it and to celebrate our new inductees. This year’s event will be held in the Mosaic Center at the Florida Aquarium.
SAM "SAMMY" LEHMAN
RONALD "RONNIE" LAUMANN
BRIAN "LULU" WENTZ
Association: Southern New England Years in NAGAAA: 23
Association: San Francisco Years in NAGAAA: 29
Association: Mid-Atlantic Years in NAGAAA: 19
Association: Philadelphia Years in NAGAAA: 25
ORLANDO "ORLY" DIAZ
Association: New York Years in NAGAAA: 33
Association: Tampa Years in NAGAAA: 23
Association: Atlanta Years in NAGAAA: 17
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Visit http://www.nagaaasoftball.org/nominate-someone/ to learn more about the Hall of Fame criteria and nomination process. or to nominate someone. for the NAGAAA Hall of Fame.
SCOTT FULLERTON Name: Scott Fullerton. Age: 47.
Current Sport(s) Played: Softball with WESA, the West End Slo-pitch Association. Relationship Status: Married. Favorite Athlete: Kevin Pillar/ Trevor Linden.
Photo by Justin Q. Mui
Favorite Team: Toronto Blue Jays/ Vancouver Canucks. Interests/Hobbies: Softball, umpiring, gardening, tech and music. Best Physical Feature: My eyes.
hompso in L. T by Rob Photo
Current Residence: Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta.
MVP JULY AUGUST 2018 Why You Love Sports: I love the competition, the challenge and most importantly, the great friendships that are formed. How You First Got Involved in Sports: I played soccer as a youngster.
bin L. Thom pson
Other Sports Played: I played football in high school. When I was coming out some friends played gay volleyball and that was the start of it. I played gay volleyball for 15 years and then picked up softball 20 years ago.
Photo by Ro
What’s Your Day Job: Director of Digital at RYU.com Greatest Personal Achievement: Marrying the love of my life. Greatest Athletic Achievements: Receiving the Vancouver Pride Society award for volunteer work in gay sports. Tell us something about you, what interactions you have had with the sports community, LGBTQ community, etc. The sports community was my lifeline. I started playing volleyball in Calgary with a few friends and then I moved to Vancouver and ended up running the Vancouver Gay Volleyball Association shortly after joining the league. Sports allows you to make real connections with real people – bars are fun but it is only a slice of the gay pie. After a few knee injuries I joined softball and found it to be far more social, connected and fun. Volleyball is great but it was about the sport first, people second. Softball was about the people – the friendships and fun. If given the chance, what would you tell/teach your younger self? And/or is there anything you hope to teach the younger generation that may be looking up to you? I would tell myself that it gets better. You will be loved for who you are – and you will find love and happiness. What are your future goals? I would love to travel more and continue to give back to the gay softball community that has helped me so much in life.
What are your thoughts about the LGBTQ community’s inclusion in sports diversity? I think the community has done a great job of inclusion but there is always room for more openness of gender identity and skill levels. Photo by Robin L. Thompson
ASANAseries.org September 16th - 23rd, 2018 LOGO & AD DESIGNED BY:
Photos Courtesy of Kelli Kulick
SOFTBALL WORLD SERIES COMING TO A SCREEN NEAR YOU BY HARRY ANDREW
or all you sports fans who are smart enough to appreciate women’s sports (and who isn’t!), don’t worry if you can’t join the ASANA (Amateur Sports Alliance of North America) female athletes as they head to New Orleans September 18-22 for the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series.
Thanks to a new partnership with Cloud Sports Network (CSN), you won’t miss the fun and excitement. CSN is the first professional streaming service dedicated to amateur sports coverage, broadcasting tournament games live in a format accessible from any internet-connected device in the world. ASANA Commissioner Angela Smith announced that more than 75 teams will be in New Orleans for this year’s Softball World Series, making it one of the group’s larger tournaments. She said that, “Being able to broadcast our games live across different social media channels simultaneously will make the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series even more accessible for softball fans and the friends and families of the players.” So if a trip to New Orleans to experience “Ballin’ in the Bayou" with the ASANA women and support your favorite
team isn’t in your future, don’t despair. Live broadcasts will begin at 9:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, September 20 and will be available on ASANA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel simultaneously. But here’s the best part – because of the interactivity of the social media platforms, viewers will also be able to leave comments as the games are being played!
SPORTS “It’s an honor for CSN to be the chosen carrier for the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series,” said network founder Roman Jimenez. “For a young venture, this is a really big deal for us. We are looking forward to bringing our technology and viewing experience to the ASANA family.” CSN began broadcasting live softball games in May 2018 and the response has been impressive. In addition to play-by-play and color commentary, the network brings multiple camera angles and places three microphones on the field to capture all the sights and sounds of the action. “Unlike baseball, softball at this level is fast-paced,” Jimenez said. “Each game lasts only about 50 minutes; that means less time between pitches, between batters and less time between innings. It’s an incredibly exciting game to watch on a screen, even for non-softball fans.” The viewers appear to agree with Jimenez’ assessment. CSN’s early test broadcast received thousands of views for an average of more than six minutes per view, more than three times the average viewing time of an online video. That statistic has caught the attention of potential advertisers. Because the ASANA Softball World Series is an event by and for LGBTQ+ women and their allies, this year’s tournament provides a unique marketing opportunity. As far as ASANA is concerned, Smith has this to
Photos Courtesy of Kelli Kulick
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say: “We’ve already started the dialogue with potential advertisers and the response has been extremely positive. They are interested because we are offering the kind of return on investment usually associated only with micro targeting but on a macro scale. “There has never been a way for advertisers to reach out directly to the LGBTQ+ athlete in a broadcast medium before,” she continued, “because our games have never been on TV. But now, because the 2018 ASANA World Series will be professionally broadcast live across a variety of platforms, and because these videos will always be available for viewing long after their initial broadcast, advertisers now have a way to reach our athletes not just once but on an ongoing basis.” Formed in 2007, ASANA was created as a non-profit organization comprised of women dedicated to promoting the participation LGBTQ+ people in organized softball competition. Currently 25 cities in the United States are member leagues, and many of them participate in the ASANA Softball World Series which is hosted each year in a different member city. Cloud Sports Network is the first live-streaming broadcast company dedicated to providing professional level broadcasts of amateur sports. With multiple cameras, on-field microphones and professional play-by-play and color commentary, Cloud Sports Network is finally bringing amateur athletes the coverage they deserve. If you would like more information on the ASANA World Series, please contact Angela Smith at 404-7025406 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Cloud Sports Network, please contact Roman Jimenez at 619-838-9776.
GRAY DUCKS MIGRATING FROM MINNESOTA TO PARIS BY RYAN ADAMS
Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Gray Ducks
The Minnesota Gray Ducks are Paris-bound this August for their first Gay Games ever. The Ducks, spawned as a new club in 2017 in preparation for the Games, are sending what could be the most competitive soccer team from the U.S. The team slowly formed over the course of 16 months to incorporate not only the best LGBTQ soccer players in Minnesota but also some of the top LGBTQ soccer players exiting the college level of play. LGBTQ soccer veteran Ryan Adams founded the Gray Ducks soccer club and also manages the Paris-bound team. Adams named the team after the Minnesota tradition of Duck Duck Gray Duck, more commonly known as Duck Duck Goose elsewhere. Adams explained, “The Minnesota tradition is something that makes us unique as a state. When we play the game you can use colors, adjectives, emotions, etc. The name is very suiting for our inclusive LGBTQ and allied team in that we all identify differently, whether that’s being gay, a statistician or a pizza lover, the priority of it will vary. That’s one reason why we’re all Gray Ducks.” Adams has led teams to the Sin City Classic the past three years in addition to the IGLFA North America and World Championships in 2015 and 2016. The highest accomplishment has been a second place finish in the World Championships under the lights of the Portland Timbers stadium in Portland after an overtime loss to Vancouver. The Gray Ducks have grown to be the largest LGBT soccer club in Minnesota with over 150 active players across 12 teams in local leagues.
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The team’s constructed with 10 LGBTQ and allied players from Minnesota and eight LGBTQ players from out of state. Adam McCabe, one of the few out players in professional soccer is once again on the Ducks roster. McCabe has played professionally in Europe, Thailand and now the U.S. where he plays for the Georgia Revolution FC of the National Premier Soccer League. Two other highly regarded college players from out of state are Seth Temple from the University of Oregon and Elias Reiland from Sacramento State University. Temple recently played with the Gray Ducks in a Minnesota weekend tournament to get his feet wet with the squad; meanwhile Reiland will join the team for his first time in Paris without any prior exposure. Getting an adult soccer team to an international tournament is certainly a challenge. From a cost perspective it will take over $40,000 for the 18-person roster to get there. The club has been fortunate to receive support from John Lundsten who has sponsored teams in several Gay Games. Along with Dan O'Donnell and others, Lundsten has a rich history of supporting LGBTQ soccer in the U.S. The Gray Ducks are looking forward to their first Gay Games appearance. They have high hopes for a medal finish, possibly bringing back the title of the Best Gay Soccer Team in the World, a title that’s been strongly held by Stonewall FC of the U.K. If they do, it will be the first time in over 20 years. You can follow the team’s journey on Facebook and its website, www.grayducks.com.
JOIN US TODAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE THE POWER OF SPORTS COMMUNITY
WWW.SPORTSDIVERSITYLEADERS.COM SPORTS DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP COUNCIL IS A TRADEMARK OF MEDIA OUT LOUD, LLC
MARK BINGHAM ATHLETE
YEAR SEARCH SELECTION COMMITTEE
Eric Carlyle Founder of Media Out Loud, LLC
Layshia Clarendon WNBA Athlete
Allison Jones Multi-Gold Medal Paralympian
SELECTION CRITERIA > Commitment to personal achievement. > Active participation in an individual or team sport. > Commitment to supporting and/or encouraging others in sports. > Commitment to the LGBTQ sporting community and/or the LGBTQ community. Winner to be announced at the 9th Annual Petey Awards.
Stephen Alexander H.S. Coach & Sports Illustrated Trailblazer Award Winner
Connie Wardman Media Out Loud Editor & SDLC Education Director
Chris Balton NAGAAA Commissioner
To apply visit: competenetwork.com/aoty
CAPITAL RUGBY UNION STEPS UP TO EARN SPORTS
DIVERSITY CERTIFICATION BY CONNIE WARDMAN
apital Rugby Union has been selected by the Sports Diversity Leadership Council, LLC (SDLC) to be the first rugby organization to become SDLC Certified. Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, the certification demonstrates Capital Rugby’s commitment to sports diversity and speaks to rugby as one of the most inclusive sports played today. It also harkens back to the roots of the SDLC and Compete Magazine; both were founded by Eric Carlyle, a former rugby player with the Phoenix Storm Rugby Football Club, according to director of the SDLC, Jared Garduno. To earn the certification Capital Rugby Union will be required to complete an application process and sign the IDEAL Principles Pledge supporting diversity in sports. The Pledge stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, Acceptance and Leadership. Capital Rugby Union also has nominated two board members to earn the Sports Diversity Leadership (SDL) Designation. Those SDL Designees must complete an application and interview process, attend educational webinars and demonstrate leadership and community service accomplishments. Matthew Robinette, president of Capital Rugby Union had this to say when asked about applying for SDLC Certification: “The Capital Rugby Union is excited to lead the United States Rugby community in terms of diversity training for leadership. The sport of rugby is growing in popularity in all demographics, including the LGBTQ ranks. The Union wants to ensure our member clubs and their leadership can recruit athletes, understand different populations and grow their club and the sport.” While some are surprised that Richmond is so open to diversity and inclusion, the forward thinking of Robinette and the Capital Rugby members goes back to 2013 when the Virginia Rugby Union and the Potomac Rugby Union consolidated ranks to become Capital Rugby Union. The organization now represents rugby players across the wide geographical areas of northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania. The reason for naming their new group Capital? They say the answer is easy since the new region includes the colonial capital of Williamsburg and the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. (A note on their website reminds readers a capital is a seat of government while a capitol is a building.) “The fact is that I can only experience the world through my eyes. While I try to be open minded and understanding
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toward different populations,” said Robinette, “I don't always know what to say or do without offending. The partnership with Sports Diversity Leadership Council will demonstrate our commitment to becoming a progressive thought leader in the community, to provide value to our member clubs and to authenticate our Union's acceptance of all athletes. On behalf of the entire Board of the Capital Rugby Union – thank you for this opportunity and partnership!” Robinette has also applied for the SDL Designation.” Garduno expressed excitement in being able to work on certifying Capital Rugby Union as a leader in sports diversity. The group will join the SDLC membership organization now comprised of over 85 organizational and individual members representing over 100,000 memberparticipants. Members include local, regional and national sports organizations, businesses and individual members. In addition to membership, the SDLC certifies organizations as leaders in sports diversity and offers the SDL Designation program to individuals.
Photos by Colleen McCloskey
2018 TNYA SWIM CAMP SWIMMERS TALK PARIS AND IGLA BY KEVIN MAJOROS
he 20th annual TNYA (Team New York Aquatics) Swim Camp was held from March 18-24 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. This year’s swim camp hosted over 40 swimmers, a mix of athletes looking to ramp up their training and get into fitness shape for summer. Swimmers were offered both long-course and short-course training over seven days in the Florida sunshine. The event has become popular with LGBTQ swimmers from across the world who enjoy getting in some intense coached training, socializing and beach time in a beautiful destination. IGLA International LGBTQ Plus Aquatics is the governing body for aquatic sports in the LGBTQ community. Each year an international host city is chosen for the IGLA World Championships. Gay Games 10 in Paris is serving as this year’s IGLA Championship site and will include aquatics competitions in swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming. Meet six swimmers who attended this year’s TNYA Swim Camp and are ready to ONESIMO DE MIRA compete in the Paris Gay Games/IGLA World Championships. Motivat
Grew Up: Za
mbia, Nigeria and Minnesota Swims For: Te am New York Aquatics First IGLA: 19 94, New York City
ion for Attend ing TNYA Swim “It gives a huge Camp: boost to my swim training. I also lov seeing and meetin e g new and return ing campers.” Hopes and Go als for Paris IG LA forward to reun iting with previou : “I am looking s participants an meeting new on d es. I am competin g in more than on sport which alway e s makes it fun.” Fantasy City for an Upco “Minneapolis. Th ming IGLA: e University of Minnesota has great and conven a ient facility. Last summer I raced in Budapest, Hu ngary at the FI NA Masters Wor Championships ld and that would be an amazing IG Also, going to Si LA. ngapore or Sout h Africa would be great experience.” a
BRIAN JACOBSON Camp: Motivation for Attending TNYA Swim World rs Maste FINA the “After competing at August, I last ary Hung pest, Buda in hips pions Cham only swam didn’t want to fall back into hard training. I on stroke ed focus and r winte the over week a days two the boys se becau camp swim to and technique. I came training. into back bump a get to d wante I and cute are I have another swim camp in May.”
Grew Up: Downey, California Swims For: Minnesota Ice First IGLA: 2001, Toronto
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aging up Hopes and Goals for Paris IGLA: “I am records. world some break to g hopin am and year this nals natio er summ to head will I , If it goes well in Paris for a long s IGLA doing been have I Plus, do. Orlan in fabulous.” time and it is so much fun. The community is would love Fantasy City for an Upcoming IGLA: “I England or on, Lond in pools pic Olym the in ete comp to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”
Grew Up: Se Swims For: attle, WA Team New Y ork Aquatics First IGLA: 1990, Vanco uver
Motivation for Attend ing TNYA S have been ou wim Camp t of the pool : “I for four year jump start to s and I need get ready for ed a Paris.” Hopes and Goals for P aris IGLA: have a heart “I attack in the pool. Actually ’d like to not see if I can do , I would like some decent to in 2000 and times. I was at IGLA Pari I want to re s turn to the shenanigans. scene of all ” the Fantasy Cit y for an Up coming IG South Africa. LA: “Cape T ” own,
“I Swim Camp: tending TNYA At on r as fo se n t io ee at m Motiv ing swim up for the upcom ining wanted to ramp celerate your tra ac s lp he p m ca im Sw . rk g.” Yo in w go in Ne eets get g and summer m before the sprin a; I am s IGLA: “Hah oals for Pari r Paris fo ng ni ai Tr Hopes and G e. e in last plac m co to ape in t sh r no g tte in be aimin proxy for getting has been a good general.” ll IGLA: “Ah, we an Upcoming r nd fo hi ty be Ci y rld as wo Fant in the nd favorite city Hong Paris is my seco city for IGLA. t ea gr a is it so my , ty be Ci d ul rk wo Yo , New up for 2022 Maine Kong, which is already lined d, an rtl Po p: Grew U m New York second choice.” Swims For: Tea Aquatics 8 Paris will First IGLA: 201 be my first IGLA
WARREN PERRY Motivation for Attending TNYA Swim Camp: “I am here for all of it – trainin g, community, friends and warm weather.” Hopes and Goals for Par is IGLA: “I’d like to medal in one event and make new friends from differe nt parts of the world. I also pla n on cheering on the other aquatics events.” Fantasy City for an Upcom ing IGLA: “Melbourne, Australia.” Grew Up: Kinston, Nor th Carolina Swims For: Team New Yor k Aquatics First IGLA: 2017, Miami
KEVIN MAJOROS A Swim Camp: “I Motivation for Attending TNY camp offers so swim that base like getting the distance my training. in n from I have something to come dow seven days.” for mer swim a of Plus, I love living the life is IGLA: “I like the Hopes and Goals for Par competition and look l iona rnat inte an of atmosphere over the world. It will all from forward to seeing friends e environment.” usiv incl an in ts spor of s be 10 day
Grew Up: Toledo, OH Swims For: District of Columbia Aquatics Club First IGLA: 1996, Washington, D.C.
oming IGLA: “I also Fantasy City for an Upc World Championships ters Mas competed at the FINA Onesimo and Brian. I in Budapest, Hungary along with pete again. Warren com to e would love to go back ther second choice would be was there cheering us on! My Rome, Italy.”
VARSITY GAY LEAGUE’S NEW MULTI-SPORT FESTIVAL COMES TO SAN DIEGO BY HARRY ANDREW
elebrate the Labor Day weekend with Varsity Gay League’s (VGL) new multi-sport festival with tournaments for kickball and dodgeball being held in the heart of sunny San Diego. From August 30 through September 2, festival participants will get to play the sport they love while also spending time with old and new friends having fun at pool parties, bar crawls, games and contests.
While the VGL is a gay league, you don’t have to be LGBTQ to join in the fun. Play is co-ed and includes all levels of play. As long as you’re between 18 to 99 years old on September 1, 2018, you can play in any of the group’s events! Anticipated attendance at this time ranges between 280-300 people. The kickball tournament will take place at Balboa Park and Golden Hill Park where up to 48 teams will be competing in a two-day double elimination tournament. The winning kickball team will win free entrance to next year’s Gay Kickball USA tournament. Dodgeball is an indoor no-sting tournament for up to 12 teams that will take place at the Golden Hill Dodgeball Courts. Day one is a seeded tournament with a single elimination tournament on day two. Brackets for both kickball and dodgeball will be determined by location and blind draw. The fun kicks off Friday night with the Opening Party at Uptown Tavern, the casual hip bar and eatery located in the heart of the popular gayborhood of Hillcrest. Players get wristbands that admit them to exclusive parties, drink specials and tons of events. And the Coors Party Bus will be shuttling players from
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the host hotel to Hillcrest and back both Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday night festival goers get to dance the night away at another Hillcrest hotspot – Rich’s San Diego, the area’s oldest, largest and most popular gay nightclub. With big dance floors, full bars, incredible DJs and the best dance music in town, the good news is that all VGL players get a reduced admission at Rich’s all weekend long with drink specials. Host hotel for the weekend of non-stop fun is the Lafayette, the historic boutique hotel also located in Hillcrest. All registered guests receive a complimentary gift bag from Malibu Rum and MillerCoors who are hosting all the tournament events. Not only close to the games and bars, the Lafayette has one of the best pools in the San Diego area and it is the location of Sunday night’s Closing Private VIP Pool Party. Perhaps the highlight of the weekend festival is the awarding of prizes – the “illustrious Varsity Gay League Sports Festival Trophy,” all the medals and of course, the all-important bragging rights that are always part of the fun at sports festivals. All-in-all, it’s a pretty great way to spend a Labor Day Weekend.
ALONE IN THE
GAME BY DIRK SMITH
The past 10-15 years have seen tremendous progress in the progression of equality for LGBTQ+ people. With more people living out and proud than ever, we are living in a time in which education and awareness for LGBTQ+ causes and history is more prominent. Although we have made a lot of progress toward equality, we are not there yet. “Alone In The Game” is a documentary that tells the story of many LGBTQ+ athletes and their experiences competing in sports, in the closet and eventually coming out. It’s a powerful documentary that examines the homophobia and transphobia that is still a plague in modern sports, even with increased awareness from the NHL, MLB, NFL, NBA and MLS as well as the United States Olympic Committee, corporations like Nike, Adidas, Under Armor and various other sporting institutions for LGBTQ+ causes. Even with fundraisers, rainbow gear, workshops, diversity training, outreach programs, and Pride Nights, there are not very many active and open LGBTQ+ athletes in professional and elite sports today. The documentary examines the stories from many prominent names in LGBTQ+ sport; athletes who have made history in their own way. Many of these athletes living in the closet during their time in sports, the effects it had on their mental health and capabilities as an athlete. How do athletes feel when they are risking everything they’ve worked for to come out of the closet? “Alone In The Game” answers that question and many more. Debuting today on June 28th there is a lot we all can learn from it and what we can do to continue the fight for equality, opening doors for athletes on and off the field to compete as themselves. As Michael Sam once said, “I want you to see me as Michael, the Football Player, not Michael, the gay football player.”
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ou y s m e t i t Ho out! h t i w o d t shouldn
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Swagtron EB5 Folding Electric-Bike The EB5 is a lightweight, folding aluminum bike designed for the urban or campus commuter. Combining a smooth and powerful 250-watt motor with the ability to quickly fold (approximately 10 seconds) to a compact 26 by 23.6 inches, the EB5 seamlessly blends modern e-mobility with unmatched portability and storage. In fact, it boasts what is perhaps the best size-toperformance ratio on the market. It’s the perfect last-mile solution for navigating public transportation, stairs and elevators, and stores easily, even in the limited space many of us have in the home and office. Top Speed: 15.5 mph. Range: 15.5 miles. MSRP: $599.99. swagtron.com
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EVENTS: FOR A COMPLETE CALENDAR OF EVENTS PLEASE VISIT WWW.COMPETENETWORK.COM/EVENTS BASEBALL
MLB All-Star Game
Washington, D.C., July 17
Angus, Scotland, July 19-22
WNBA All-Star Game
St. Louis, Mo., Aug 9-12
Minneapolis, July 28
Coke Zero 400
The Greater Indianapolis 4th of July Classic
New Hampshire 301
Daytona Beach, July 7
Indianapolis, July 7
Loudon, July 22
Missouri & Kansas Invitational Tournament
Gander Outdoors 400
Kansas City, Mo., July 20
GoBowling at The Glen
Music City Invitational Tournament
Watkins Glen, N.Y., Aug. 5
Hermitage, Tenn., July 21
Big D Classic Invitational
Brooklyn, Mich., Aug. 12
Dallas, July 27
Menopause – The Tournament
Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo 36
Orlando, July 28
San Diego Invitational San Diego, Aug. 3
Maple Leaf Classic Toronto, Ont., Aug. 11
ORBIT Raleigh Bowling Invitation Tournament Raleigh, Aug. 31
Las Vegas Showgirl Invitational Tournament
Long Pond, Penna., July 29
Golden, Col., July 7-8
North Star Regional Rodeo Minneapolis/St. Paul, July 27-29
Zia Regional Rodeo Santa Fe, Aug. 10-12
Show Me State Rodeo Kansas City, Mo., Aug 31-Sept. 2
RUGBY Rugby World Cup Sevens
Las Vegas, Aug. 31
San Francisco, July 20-22
Show Me St. Louis Classic
St. Louis, Aug. 31
CAMPING ‘Camp’ Camp
San Diego Open 33 San Diego, July 6-8
Columbus Classic 2018 Columbus, July 20-22
Philadelphia Open 2018 Philadelphia, July 21-23
VIP 2018 Vancouver, B.C., Aug. 4-6
2018 Second City Tennis Classic Chicago, Aug. 10-12
New Hope Open 2018 Washington Crossing, Penna., Aug. 25-27
U.S. Open Flushing Meadows, N.Y., Aug 27-Sept. 9
VOLLEYBALL Windy City Open Chicago, July 7
Hotlanta Classic XXV Atlanta, July 28
Austin Summerfest Austin, July 28
Summer Smash Madison, Aug. 11
Sooner State Classic Oklahoma City, Aug. 25
MULTI-SPORT Paris 2018 Gay Games 10 Paris, Aug. 5-10
Varsity Gay League Sports Festival 2018
San Diego, July 14
San Diego, Aug. 30-Sept. 2
Pride Run & Walk Vancouver, B.C., July 22
Tour de France
MLS All Star Game
France, July 7-29
Atlanta, Aug. 1
Summer X Games
Liberty Open 2018
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London, July 2-15
San Diego Pride 5K Run & Walk
Portland, Maine, Aug. 19-26
Minneapolis, July 19-22
Queens, N.Y., June 30-July 2