Get Out and Play

The myth that being LGBT precludes one from being an athlete has been refuted over and over, and Get Out and Play further seeks to highlight the important role that LGBT people play in the sports world. Philadelphia has a vibrant LGBT sports community and, in Get Out and Play, PGN artistic director and photographer Scott Drake chronicles the match-ups and meets, tournaments and tryouts that stand out on the local LGBT sports calendar, as well as tackles issues like homophobia in sports and unity among local teams.

With the outdoor sports all in hibernation and soccer pickup, volleyball and dodgeball waiting in the wings for first-week play, only the swimmers and wrestlers are vying for attention in early January. But there’s some other stuff to talk about too.

Thomas Hormby, of the Nashville Grizzlies gay and inclusive rugby team, emailed me to announce they just released their 2016 fundraising calendar.       

The Grizzlies host the Bingham Cup, the world championship of gay rugby, in Nashville in May 2016. The tournament is named after Mark Bingham, who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, hijacking and crash of United Flight 93. The Bingham Cup is the biggest tournament in the world for gay and inclusive teams, and this will be the first year it has been hosted in the Southern United States.

Hormby said organizers have been playing a number of straight teams the past season for the first time and are working hard to raise money so the tournament is affordable to many. He also said their goal is to “create a safe space for players of all sexual orientations, backgrounds and experience levels to learn about the sport and have fun.”

Our own Philadelphia Griffins RFC are also raising money to compete in Nashville next year. You can get more information on how to support the team or sponsor a player at

Grizzlies calendars can be ordered at


Short stops

• Get Out and Play will be on hiatus the rest of the month, coming back strong Jan. 1, 2016. Have a great holiday, and a safe one also. And whether it stays nice longer this year or turns cold and snowy, remember to get out and play!

Thanks for another great year of sports and recreation. If you want to share a story idea, interview possibility or a fundraiser event where there are shirtless men, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

It’s great seeing athletes’ names on Out magazine’s Out 100 list again this year, but the most exciting to me, albeit a couple years late, is the inclusion of a pair of soccer players, Abby Wambach and Robbie Rogers. Both came out publicly in 2013. One would think they would have been recognized in 2013 or 2014 but better late …

Halloween parties for older children (meaning post-puberty) are more common than handing out candy these days! Stealing another holiday from the children is like taking candy from a baby. In this case, it’s an extremely apt comparison.

Thom Duffy wrestled with the guys, wrestled with his available time and wrestled with his decision until ultimately deciding to return to Spartans Wrestling earlier this year. The once-former, now-current member is eager once again to increase the team’s visibility and membership over the winter months and next year.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to stay on top of everything-sports that goes on in this town and at other times there’s just nothing to tell everyone, except that the same groups are playing at the same places at the usual times. It’s weeks like this that I start to ponder the value of a sports column aside from someone, some team or some awardee getting his or her picture in the paper.

City of Brotherly Love Softball League has announced that a new award honoring the memory of Donna Mae Stemmer will be presented at its annual banquet, starting this fall on Oct. 28. The award will be called The Donna Mae Stemmer Spirit Award presented by Miller Lite and will be awarded to one team in each division that exemplifies the spirit of CBLSL. The awards will be determined by the commissioner.

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