“Being part of a gay sports team has always given me that outlet to approach my team and fellow players for advice, or to decompress and just hang out, go to the movies, or do social events,” says Martin Espinoza, president of the executive committee for Stonewall Sports. “It gives me a network that’s available at the drop of a hat, especially if you’re having a bad day or bad week. It’s good to just hang out with my team.”
Espinoza hopes to provide that opportunity to others in the upcoming 4th Annual Stonewall Sports National Tournament, featuring more than one thousand kickball, dodgeball, and volleyball players from various LGBTQ sports leagues, from July 14 to 16. The best part is, you don’t have to play a sport to enjoy. “People can sign up as ‘Friends of Stonewall,’ and be a spectator and cheer on their teams,” says Espinoza. “It’s more about having time to network and meet the participants in Stonewall, especially for people in D.C. who haven’t had the opportunity, or the time, to join a league.”
For $25, spectators get access to games and are eligible for various food and drink specials at sponsor bars and restaurants.
“Some people who live in D.C. treat the weekend like they’re out of town, and go with the flow of events,” says Espinoza. “[They] disconnect from their personal lives for a weekend, and embrace meeting new people from other cities, or people from D.C. that they haven’t had a chance to meet.”
Volleyball is Saturday, July 15 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial Sand Volleyball Courts, 2298 Constitution Ave. NW.
Kickball is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon at the JFK Hockey Fields, 1964 Independence Ave. SW. The final four games are Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at Stead Park, 1625 P St. NW.
Dodgeball is Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Georgetown Law Gymnasium, 600 New Jersey Ave. NW.
Spectator tickets are $25 per person, and are available online through July 13. Visit stonewallsports.leagueapps.com.
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