For Dallas gay athletes, fitness can come in a group setting
Working out with a trainer or weight-loss boot camp is one thing, but what about the social butterfly who wants to look great and grab a beer with fellow practitioners?
Dallas is awash in gay team-sport clubs that offer the fitness-minded varying degrees of exercise options. We’ve listed some of them, roughly in descending order of how much cardio they provide and how healthy you need to be to try them out.
Rugby. No idea how to play one of the roughest and rowdiest sports around or if you’ll fit in? The Dallas Diablos Rugby Football Club welcomes everyone of varying athletic abilities.
"If you are new to the sport, the Diablos are a great way to get yourself familiar with the world of rugby," says Diablos president Jonn Thurman. The Diablos have participated in the Bingham Cup Rugby Tournament, which took the team to places such as London, Dublin and New York City. "Because of the camaraderie of the sport of rugby, there is a worldwide fraternity of rugby brothers and sisters where everyone in the rugby world will always feel welcome."
And speaking of sisters, the Dallas Debutantes is the area’s women’s rugby team.
Practice for the season starts in September. Dallasdiablos.org
Rodeo. Whether you grew up in the country roping and riding or in the city and have always wanted to, Texas Gay Rodeo Association welcomes participants at all levels to its Dallas and Fort Worth chapters.
"Most members who compete have never done rodeo events before. We are a large family within the IGRA Rodeo Circuit. New contestants will have lots of support to get them started," says TGRA rep Dan Nagel. The Cowtown Rodeo arrives in Fort Worth at the end of the month.
Find upcoming meetings and membership application on the Web site.
Soccer. This gay and lesbian soccer league fields teams in other local leagues and plays in both gay and mainstream local, regional, and international tournaments. Oaklawnsoccer club.org
Biking. Doing a long distance bike ride takes months of training. Although the Lone Star Ride is a fundraising event for three local AIDS organizations, they also help with training and safety. This year’s big ride through the North Texas countryside is Sept. 26â€“27. Lonestarride.org
Flag Football. The Texas Bulls Flag Football team practices at Ranchview High in Valley Ranch. The team plans to travel to Washington, D.C., in October for GayBowl IX. The Web site invites new players saying, "No matter your experience, fitness level or athletic ability, we’ll find a place for you." Texasbullsffc.com
Running. The Dallas Frontrunners call themselves "the social group with a healthy attitude." They meet for runs and walks Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. on the Katy Trail at Knox Street and Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. (8 a.m. April through November) at White Rock Lake. Dallasfrontrunners.org
Tennis. The Oak Lawn Tennis Association begins its new season March 1 at Samuell-Grand Tennis Center in East Dallas. Register and pay season or half season fees on line at the OLTA Web site. Oltadallas.org
Volleyball. The Dallas Independent Volleyball Association had five levels of experience to ensure that everyone can participate. Play takes place at Texas Advantage Sports off Highway 360. The season began Feb. 1 but teams may be looking for subs if you’re interested but couldn’t make the new member clinics earlier this year. Divadallas.org
Softball. Practice for the new season of Pegasus Slowpitch Softball has already begun, with opening day on March 15. The North Texas Women’s Softball Association season spring league runs March 8 through May 3. The summer league begins June 7. Both leagues use the fields at Trinity View Park off Irving Boulevard in the Trinity River bottoms. Dallaspssa.org, Ntxwsa.net
Golf. Colene Drace, president of Different Strokes Golf Association, says that DSGA "organizes fun and competitive golf events for gay and lesbian golfers of all skill levels." About two golf outings are scheduled per month from March through October culminating in the two-day Texas Shootout club championship. The season begins March 14 at Cedar Crest Golf Course. Dsgadallas.org
Bowling. A number of leagues play different weeknights, throughout most of the year at alleys around the Metroplex. The Oak Lawn Bowling Association remains one of the largest bowling leagues anywhere. The largest annual tournament is the Dallas Invitational Columbus Day Tournament.
Jim Putnam, who directed the tournament last year, says, "DICDT is a fundraiser for an HIV organization each year. Bowlers from five leagues in the Metroplex help us run it and people come in from all over the country, Canada, Australia and New Zealand." Oaklawn bowling.com
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 20, 2009.