Organizers decided early in the planning to leave the sports organizations on the sidelines the first year and focus on organizations that were already making strides in their own areas. Included were groups like Athlete Ally, Campus Pride, ESPN, Federation of Gay Games, GLAAD, GLSEN, NCAA, Our Group and the You Can Play project.
Philadelphia’s Our Group executive director Anna Aagenes attended the event and gave high scores to the organizers and the summit. Our Group works to support and empower LGBTQA student athletes throughout the country and make sports accessible and welcoming to LGBT kids, coaches and fans.
“The Nike LGBT Sports Summit has meant the world to me,” Aagenes said. “As an openly bisexual athlete, I had few role models to turn to when I was involved in high school and college sports.”
One of the primary goals for the summit participants was a redefinition of champion as “a person who is inclusive of all those who choose to participate in sports and someone who stands up against bullying and antigay language.”
Four goals were laid out for the next year:
• The major American professional sports leagues will be engaged to work with our member organizations toward inclusion in their league.
• The visibility of out collegiate athletes, coaches and allies will be increased through a multi-pronged approach.
• The national youth and adult recreational leagues will receive an LGBTQ inclusive model policy, and at least five leagues will have adopted such a policy.
• Two million young people will have heard a new, inclusive definition of “athletic champion,” and their physical-education teachers and coaches will have received inclusive training resources.
Alleys and gutters
The Philadelphia Gay Bowling League will host its annual Liberty Belle Invitational Tournament through July 1. The tournament includes singles and doubles competitions on Saturday and team competitions on Sunday, but Friday afternoon before official registration there is a fun eight-pin no-tap at Laurel Lanes in Maple Shade, N.J. (Eight-pin no-tap means if you knock down eight, nine or 10 pins on your first ball, it counts as a strike.) Laurel Lanes is the venue for all of the subsequent challenges as well.
LBI registration is held 7-10 p.m. July 29 at DoubleTree Hotel, 237 S. Broad St., in conjunction with the opening-night hospitality party. DoubleTree is also the location of the 24th annual tournament awards banquet Sunday from 6-8 p.m. It is preceded by an hour-long cocktail reception, while an after-party at a Gayborhood bar is still in the works.
The $21,000 prize fund guarantees first-place winners $500 each, and there are raffles, 50-50 drawings and other ways to grab cash and prizes. So, grab your shoes and your balls and get rolling! For more information, visit www.libertybelle.org.
Who knew it was so fun to run?
Dan Anders, Brian Sims and Bob Szwajkos will be among the 500-plus runners in the Back on My Feet 20in24 Midnight Madness Run July 14-15 in Fairmount Park.
Almost as much fun as last month’s ODDyssey half-marathon and costume competition, the Midnight Madness Run has its own fun run. For one thing, the single-lap 8.4-mile run starts at midnight Saturday night and runners will wear fluorescent items or clothes or carry glow sticks, or employ some other creative way to stay visible. Szwajkos and others will be running under the Team Philadelphia umbrella in that event.
Openly gay Sims, who is running for a state House seat, and out Philadelphia Circuit Judge Anders are going for distance and endurance. Sims has set a 100-mile goal in support of a friend and Anders is planning to start at 10 a.m. Saturday, continue all day and expects to “likely be there at midnight, but God only knows if I’ll be running, sleeping or something else!”
The primary goal of BoMF is “changing the direction of people’s lives by changing the way they see themselves.” BoMF works to create independence within the homeless by first building confidence and self-esteem through running, and focuses on the inherent desire to feel useful and important. Our best to all of you. For more information, visit www.20in24.com.
On June 23, Team Philadelphia joined the New York Front Runners in the Pride Race June 23 in New York City. Anna Aagenes led all Front Runner women in the 5-mile race, finishing in 31:54 minutes and placing second in her age group and eighth overall among all 2,607 women, leading the Front Runner women to take first place in their division.
The Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League’s competitive team, the Philly Revolution, bettered their last Chicago Pride Bowl outing at this year’s fifth-annual event. Philly Revolution Silver finished 11th overall out of 24 teams with their first-ever A-squad victory and taking down the New York City XTreme 19-18 in overtime. Dre Dionne threw three touchdowns in that contest to lead them to their first win over XTreme since The Revs began playing competitively.
Revolution Blue finished 11th out of 12 on the B-squad side, placing 23rd overall, and had its own standout player, Justin Dolci, who racked up eight catches over five games for a total of 182 yards offense.
More than 40 people trekked out to the Windy City to represent Philadelphia’s fastest growing LGBT sports league. Open play dates, the mid-August fall season start and the Revs’ preparations for the Denver Gay Bowl are on the sidelines. Let us know when the homecoming parties are!
• Congratulations to out Temple Men’s Gymnastics member Evan Burke. Burke didn’t compete most of the year due to a broken foot, but he will return next year to finish his eligibility and as one of the team-chosen co-captains. Kudos!
• Falcons Summer League 2012 continues through Aug. 1 and they are still welcoming newcomers. Games start at 6 p.m. every Wednesday at Edgly Fields. The fun and friendly play is 6-on-6, coed, without goalkeepers; falcons-soccer.org.
• Philly Roller Girls start the flat-track late-season rounds July 14 at Temple’s Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St.; phillyrollergirls.com.
• New York City Front Runner Robert Lennon will be reading from his new book “The Miles,” 5:30 p.m. July 7 at Giovanni’s Room. Runners and allies are welcome.
All of these organizations welcome visitors, fans and cheerleaders: Get out of the house, out of your routine and go to a game. Better yet, get out and play! n
To submit information for Get Out and Play, email firstname.lastname@example.org.