Playing games for mental health


We often forget that sports are about more than just competition. For parents of youngsters, sports are a way for diverse personalities to interact in a playful and stimulating setting. It’s also a setting for learning unity, equality, tolerance, diversity and uniqueness. Personal interaction and teamwork are hallmarks of almost every team sport. Even many individual competitions require a fair amount of those skills.

There are so many sports opportunities in our area to help us connect with people, make new friends, learn new skills, share our free time and move past our little comfort bubble. Very few of the sports groups listed here require any more talent than being able to walk, swing, kick, run, bounce, throw, jump or dive. The only requirement is to show up, pay dues and have fun.

Consider improving your personal relationship skills, your abilities to communicate and becoming more open and vulnerable through an activity that interests you in the first place. No one says you have to be great; just have a great time. The big bonus, of course, is that many of these groups also have copious amounts of social events after games and for special events and fundraisers.

If one of your hopes for the New Year is to make friends or find a hottie, cutie or crazy to date, look into an organized activity that requires little more of you than some sneakers or cleats and a desire to have fun.

Following is a fairly comprehensive listing of sports at which you can try your hand or foot. This information can also be found inside the back cover of PGN every fourth Friday of the month.


  • Brandywine Women’s Rugby Club meets for practice Tuesdays and Thursdays at Greenfield Park, West Chester;


  • City of Brotherly Love Softball League serves the Philadelphia area with games on Sundays, beginning in April, at the Dairy and Edgeley Fields in Fairmount Park. Fall Ball is in FDR Park;


  • Frontrunners running club meets 9:30 a.m. Saturdays for a run and brunch at Lloyd Hall, No. 1 Boathouse Row;


  • Lez Run Running Club looking for new members;


  • Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club, open to LGBT and allies, practices 8-10 p.m. Mondays and 2-4 p.m. Saturdays;


  • Philadelphia Fins Swim Team, open to male and female swimmers, meets 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday at Friends Select School and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays;


  • Philadelphia Gay Bowling League meets 8 p.m. Wednesdays September-April at South Bowl, 19 E. Oregon Ave.; 856-889-1434, [email protected].


  • Greater Philadelphia Flag Football League plays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at FDR Park;


  • Philadelphia Gryphons Rugby Football Club, open to players of all skill levels, meets 7:45 p.m. Thursdays at Columbus Square Park, 1200 Wharton St.; 215-913-7531,, [email protected].


  • Philadelphia Liberty Belles women’s semi-pro full-tackle football league holds fall tryouts;


  • Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association plays year-round in warmer weather at FDR Park in South Philly, all skill levels welcome;


  • Philadelphia Firebirds women’s football team seeks players;


  • Philadelphia Women’s Baseball League seeks players, all skill levels and ages. Practice is 7 p.m. Thursdays at Marian Anderson Recreation Center, 17th and Fitzwater streets,,


  • Philly Gay Hockey Association Philadelphia Phury seeks players; 917-656-1936, [email protected].


  • Philly QCycle LGBT bicycling club promotes organized recreational riding for all levels in the Greater Philadelphia region; contact the organization via Facebook.


  • Rainbow Rollers gay and lesbian bowling league meets 7:45 p.m. Tuesdays at Boulevard Lanes in Northeast Philadelphia;


  • Spartan Wrestling Club gay wrestling team meets 6:30-9 p.m. Mondays at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St.; 215-732-4545,


  • Stonewall Sports PHL umbrella organization encompassing kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, pool (billiards) and soon darts. Find on Facebook.


Short Stops


  • Philadelphia Falcons Soccer Club is looking for new and returning players for indoor scrimmages now through mid-spring. First visit is free. Learn some new skills or awaken old ones. Get more information at
  • Gay Games 10 take place Aug. 4-12 2018, in Paris. Registration is now open:


Email [email protected] to share your organization’s upcoming tryouts, championship series, boot camp, tournament or fundraiser.


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