Getting kicky

Posted on 02 Mar 2006 at 10:48pm
By Daniel A. Kusner

Team Dallas soccer player Sean Faulkner trains for Gay Games VII



As the thermometers in North Texas hit the mid-80s this week, folks are taking advantage of the warmer temperatures to restart their outdoor fitness routines. But plenty of Dallas athletes beefed up their training regimens months ago in order to prepare for the Gay Games VII in Chicago July 15-22.

A silver medalist who competed at the 2002 Gay Games VI in Sydney, Team Dallas soccer player Sean Faulkner has been training about six hours a week. And now that it’s starting to warm up, he’s adding regular bike rides around White Rock Lake and making efforts to eat healthier, too.

The Dallas native started playing soccer when he was 10. He keeps his goal-kicking skills intact by playing with the Oak Lawn Soccer Club. A founding member, Faulkner has been with the gay and lesbian club since 1995. And since Dallas doesn’t have other gay soccer clubs, the Oak Lawn team plays mainstream teams in the men’s and coed leagues.

“We usually do very well. We’ve won the division several times. And when it comes to sports, it’s always fun to see the gays beat the [straight teams],” Faulkner says.

Attending the Gay Games is a substantial commitment. Not only do most athletes have to take off work, there are food, transportation, hotel and registration expenses. Faulkner expects to spend more than $1,600 to compete in Chicago. But at the opening ceremonies in Sydney, Team Dallas made a Texas-sized impression when 50 athletes from Big D wore matching uniforms. This year, Faulkner’s dusting off his Gay Games cowboy hat that features a pride sticker and soccer ball on the front.

As one of the coordinators for the Oak Lawn Soccer Club, Faulkner hopes to get the word out to more soccer enthusiasts. Although registration has closed and the co-ed spring league begins play on March 10, new players are still welcome to join. They just need to show up at practices.

Soccer club practices are held Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Glencoe Park, 3701 Glencoe St.; and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:0 p.m. at Anderson-Bonner Park, 12700 Park Central Blvd. For more information about Oak Lawn Soccer Club, visit www.oaklawnsoccerclub.org.
For more information about competing with Team Dallas at the Gay Games, visit http://teamdallasusa.com.



LESBIAN HELLCATS ON WHEELS
If watching the Oscars on Sunday night isn’t your thing, maybe some hardcore, sexy feminist athletics will float your boat. According to the Dallas Derby Devils’ media specialist, Amy Guss, more open lesbians are joining the flat-track fun of women’s roller derby. On Sunday, sapphic sister Lezlie Deane (aka Scary Cherry Bang Bang) makes her debut in the season-opening bout at Arlington Skatium.
Arlington Skatium, 5515 S. Cooper Street in Arlington. Sunday at 7 p.m. $12. www.dallasderbydevils.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 3, 2006.

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