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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Come Out & Play! Hey Sporty Spice! Get out there and work it!

Written by Jeff Kagan, October 21, 2013
Published in Next Magazine

Come Out & Play! 
Hey Sporty Spice! Get out there and work it!

As the autumn air brings a slight chill, we're reminded of the return of fall and winter sports! It’s time to get out there and get some exercise other than lifting a cocktail or remote control. Here are just a few examples of the great LGBT sports organizations out there just waiting for you.

Instead of going to a bar to meet guys, you can go to BARS. That’s Big Apple Recreational Sports!  BARS is a 3-in-1 sports organization hosting Dodgeball, Kickball and Bowling! “We are a competitive league, but we found one of the things our players are most excited about is the friends and relationships they make within the league.” says Stephen Moreau, Commissioner.

Slip’n slide with the New York City Gay Hockey Association, now in its 14th year. The NYCGHA manages six co-ed teams at Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers. Games are on Saturday or Sunday afternoons and evenings. Beginners and "rink rats" welcome.

Get out of town and fly down a mountainside, or slowly make your way down the bunny-slope with the Ski Bums! Travel to some of the world's most spectacular places, with a focus on getting to know new people. This year, the Ski Bums have twenty trips planned in 2014 from Lake Placid, New York to Chamonix, France!  And look forward to their traditional “après-ski” gatherings: crisp beers, roaring fireplaces, and gorgeous mountain views.

Feel the need to dribble? Then the New York City Gay Basketball League is the place to be! Join these big boys as they run up and down the court at The Field House at Chelsea Piers on Sundays between 5pm and 8pm. "Our group is inclusive, diverse, and dedicated to breaking down stereotypes of LGBT athletes." says Kris Alspach, Commissioner, Mens Division. Afterwards, join the boys for a post-game happy hour at some of the local bars who sponsor the league.  

Brotherhood and camaraderie are the two words that best describe the Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club! You’ll learn other words like scrum, pitch and flop at the post-game "third-half" (good food, great beer and bruises.) And as we speak, the Gotham Knights are preparing for the Bingham 2014 Cup, the largest non-professional rugby tournament in the world, which will be held in Sydney, Australia next August.

Run, Forrest, Run – with the Frontrunners! "We are a diverse group for runners, from first-time runners to local elites, who enjoy both running and socializing." says club President, Dave Lin. The group’s most popular run is on Saturday mornings at 10am when they meet and stretch at Rutgers Church on 73rd Street and Broadway, then head over to Central Park to do a loop. Bagels and coffee served afterwards back at the church. There are also weekly runs in Brooklyn for all you hipsters!

And lastly, where would sports be without cheerleading! Cheer New York will help you channel that pep in your step! And you’ll feel great cheering as their "Cheer for Life" mission helps local charities by giving back to the LGBT community. The cheerleaders typically flock together after each practice or game. They're quite the social club partaking in karaoke, brunches and more!

For more information on each of these organizations and many others, go to www.oobnyc.org.