The William Way LGBT Community Center announced this week that is launching a new program to bring together the city's various LGBT sports league.
The Out Philadelphia Athletic League will be a recreational sport and social program under the auspices of the center. According to organizers, it will function to enhance coordination among the community and numerous LGBT sports clubs in the area, as well as provide assistance with logistical issues, such as securing facilities and city permits, assisting with sending players to regional, national and international tournaments and launching new intramural programs.
"The center is perfectly positioned to provide a central venue for sports leagues to grow the opportunities for community, cooperation, and collaboration for LGBT athletes and their allies," said William Way executive director Chris Bartlett."
Organizers say OPAL will be the area’s "largest recreational LGBT sports and social organization" and will "provide a necessary and missing element to the LGBT sports community while increasing membership and benefiting all LGBT leagues."
The impact that the new program will have on the existing Team Philadelphia, whose mission is to serve as an umbrella group for local LGBT sports organization, remains to be seen.
William Way board co-chair and former City of Brotherly Love Softball League commissioner Jeff Sotland referenced the city's long history of strong LGBT sports programs and said the new effort "will allow us to grow upon these existing strengths and provide important new opportunities for teams and athletes in the region."
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Read more about this new program in next week's PGN.