With spring just around the corner, this is a great time to get out and enjoy some of what the local LGBT sports community has to offer.
Washington is home to one of the largest and most organized LGBT sports communities in the world. With the onset of spring come many opportunities for everyone to be part of it.
Following is an overview of the spring offerings.
In 2010, the Warrior Dash exploded across the nation with 10,000 people competing in every state in which it was offered. While this is a mostly straight event, the allure for the LGBT crowd is undeniable. This year it has expanded to more states and will be contested in Mechanicsburg, Md., on May 21-22. It’s a 3.1-mile obstacle course which involves water, mud, ropes, walls, fire and woods. Many of the competitors are in full costume so along with the competitive nature of the event, it’s also a comedy show.
Last year in Pennsylvania, I was passed by Wonder Woman on the mud wall and was convinced that she was using her invisible jet. Registration ends on April 29 and this event will sell out. Videos and details can be found at www.warriordash.com.
The D.C. Sentinels basketball team, fresh off winning a tournament in Las Vegas, will be heading to Chicago in April for the Coady Classic. They practice on Thursday nights at the Westland Middle School in Bethesda and on Sunday afternoons at the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in D.C. They can be found at www.teamdcbasketball.org.
So you think you can dance? Lambda DanceSport offers lessons in a variety of dance types including swing, salsa, tango and samba. Instruction takes place weekly at the Chevy Chase Ballroom. For more information, go to www.lambdadancesport.org.
The Lambda Links golf club members are putting their way into the spring season. The season begins with their first tee time happening at the beginning of April and following on most weekends. The group offers four tournaments throughout the summer and lessons can be arranged through their connections at the local golf courses. Find them at www.lambdalinks.org.
Still hoping to get some winter sports under your belt? The D.C. IceBreakers will be ice skating on March 16 at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. They skate from 8:15 to 9:15 and will follow that up with a social at Bailey’s Pub. Visit dcicebreakers.com for details.
With seven divisions that generally fill to capacity, the D.C. Kickball leagues are getting ready to launch their next season. Depending on which division you will be in, registration is either in March or April. Get your team together and head to dckickball.org to determine your future in kicking some balls.
The ever-popular D.C. Strokes Rowing Club has several programs for beginning rowers. There are Learn to Row programs and a novice program which are all available in the spring. On June 5, the Strokes will host rowers from across the country, all clad in spandex, at the 18th annual Stonewall Regatta. If you think you have what it takes, go to www.dcstrokes.org.
The Washington Renegades rugby team has already begun practices for the spring season at their home base at Cardozo High School in D.C. The Renegades offer rookie training and will begin spring season match play on March 5. If you want an opportunity to step up on the pitch, you can find information at www.dcrugby.com.
The Rainbow Spinnakers Sailing Club offers two-hour sails on the Potomac or Baltimore Harbor on most weekends through the fall. The kick-off party for the spring season is on March 19. You can either go as a passenger or get some instruction as a captain. Step closer to experiencing our local waters by going to rainbowspinnakers.org.
The Rainbow Climbing League of D.C. is generally present at Earth Treks in Rockville from 6:30 to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The rock climbers are hosting a beginners outdoors climbing clinic at Carderock from noon to 5 p.m. Carderock, which is just west of Bethesda, is notable for its many vertical climbs of 35 to 70 feet. They are also planning a spring trip to California in April. You can link to their Facebook page through teamdc.org.
Charm City Volleyball remains the only structured LGBT volleyball program in the area. Wednesday nights are for social playing and Sundays consist of competitive play, scrimmages and clinics. On April 29, members will be hosting the Charm City Invitational. They are based at the Volleyball House in Elkridge, Md., and are online at volleybaltimore.org.
The District of Columbia Aquatics Club is in training for the IGLA World Championships which will be contested in Honolulu, Hawaii in July. The roster of events include swimming, diving, water polo, open water swimming and synchronized swimming. The swimmers offer practices six times a week at different locations around the area and can be found at www.swimdcac.org.
The D.C. Gay Flag Football League is in the middle of its second season playing at the Carter Barron Fields. Members of the league just returned from winning the inaugural Florida Bowl going undefeated and beating their archrival New York in the championship game. On March 29, they will be hosting Fan Appreciation Day with multiple games running at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Get the latest scores at www.dcgffl.org.
The Lambda Divers scuba diving club has two trips planned for fall. They will be in Cozumel for Diving for Life in September and will be diving in Grand Cayman in October. There will be several meetings beforehand including a happy hour at Nellie’s Sports Bar on March 20 from 5-7 p.m. Details at lambdadivers.org.
The Chesapeake & Potomac Softball League will be running three men’s divisions and two women’s divisions in the spring softball league. Registration kicks off in March and the league plays at Tucker Road Fields in Fort Washington and Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro. Registration details can be found at capssoftball.org.
The Federal Triangles Soccer Team is promoting its Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup which is being held March 19. There are also several spring teams being formed which will lead into the Summer of Freedom League. The Triangles also offer pick-up games on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons. Details at federaltriangles.org.
The D.C. Frontrunners are offering group walks on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings. The group runs are on Saturday and Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday nights. There are also multiple events coming up in the spring on their race circuit. Dcfrontrunners.org for info.
The Capital Splats racquetball club is one of the newer LGBT sports groups in the area. They are based at the Washington D.C. Jewish Community Center and registration for the next league begins in April. The league will run three months followed by playoffs. Contact information is available at www.capitalsplats.org.
League registration begins in April for the summer season with the Capital Tennis Association. The group offers league play, drill sessions, ladders and tournament play. They are one of the larger LGBT sports groups in the area. Capital-tennis.org for info.
If you want to meet members from all the teams, Team D.C. is hosting a Spring SportsFest at Room & Board on 14th Street on April 9 at 6:30 p.m. It’s a recruiting event for spring and summer sports where you can come in and get a better feel for what the teams are all about. www.teamdc.org.