Five local organizations championing LGBTQI2S sport
Happy Pride month! During the month of June we celebrate the LGBTQI2S community in sport and beyond. In the spirit of acknowledging the importance of doing this year-round, we are pleased to highlight five local sport organizations in B.C. who do incredible work to further LGBTQI2S inclusion in and through sport 365 days a year.
- Vancouver Gay Volleyball Association (VGVA) is one of the longest operating volunteer-run sport organizations where promoting gay-positive, inclusive, and above all, fun volleyball experiences is at the core. With seven divisions to choose from ranging in skill and commitment level from Recreation to Competition 4, there is something for everyone. They are currently welcoming new members with registration open until June 3. If you're looking to join a great community, learn or strengthen your volleyball skills, check out VGVA here. Sign up to their email list for regular updates and news.
- The Pacific Rim Curling League (PRCL) began at The University of British Columbia in 1983 and has now grown to be the premier curling league for LGBTQI2S individuals and allies in B.C.! The league is open to players at any level, from beginner to seasoned competitor. Each year, they host their end of season tournament, the Pac Rim Cup, which gathers over a dozen teams across several events including doubles curling. The PRCL is one of the largest LGBTQI2S focused leagues in Canada. If you’re looking to join an exciting social activity, check them out here and join their mailing list. Curious about the sport? PRCL is offering 1 Hour Try Curling sessions!
- The Vancouver Ultimate League Society (VULS) is the largest ultimate league in metro Vancouver with over 6,200 members. Serving both adults and youth, they organize recreational play, workshops and clinics. Their website has an extensive section on inclusion, specifically LGBTQI2S inclusion, including policy, resources, initiatives and a glossary of terms to ensure that LGBTQI2S participants feel welcome and supported at VULS. This is great work to integrate positive and inclusive organizational practices that in turn create a safer sport environment for all players. Learn more about VULS here.
- Mabel is a queer fast pitch league based out of Vancouver fostering safe and fun opportunities for lesbians, bisexual women, queer women, trans people, and women allies to learn and play softball. Their league hosts several events each year, including a social so that new players can find a team, tournaments, and skill clinics. Their Diversity and Inclusion Policy includes a Trans Inclusion Policy outlining the league and its members commitment to providing a safe, respectful, and positive space for trans people. They also offer a diversity and inclusion training seminar to their members. Learn more about Mabel here.
- The English Bay Bowling League (EBBL) has been operating for more than 40 years and promotes unity and fellowship among the queer community and their allies through bowling. Operating over 28 weeks and welcoming beginner to advanced bowlers in Vancouver, the league offers all players the opportunity to be winners through their handicap driven system of scoring. As part of the International Gay Bowling Organization, members can play in tournaments across Canada and the U.S. Check out EBBL’s website to learn more about this community and join a team.
Each of these organizations contribute to the critical work of providing safe spaces and access to sport opportunities that create thriving communities for LGBTQI2S participants and their allies. If you’re an organization looking to integrate more inclusive practices into your daily operations, check out these clubs’ work for inspiration. If you’re looking to join a new social group, get active, or learn a new sport, check them out and find your community! Is there a club or organization in your community with awesome initiatives to include LGBTQI2S participants and create fun and memorable experiences? Share their work! Wishing everyone a happy Pride month!