Stonewall Sports, a community-based nonprofit recreational sports organization for members of the LGBTQAI+ community and straight allies, recently announced Asheville as its newest affiliate city. The sports group was founded in Washington, D.C., in 2010 to raise funds for local nonprofits through inclusive, low-cost organized sports. Since then, it has expanded into eighteen cities, five in North Carolina alone.
Buncombe County Recreation Services, the Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission, and Blue Ridge Pride sponsored the proposal to expand the league into the region as a way to support their similar missions to provide high quality opportunities for social interaction through sports, health, and wellness.
“As someone who has played soccer most of my life, I believe everyone should feel comfortable being themselves in organized sports,” said Karla Furnari, City Commissioner of Stonewall Sports Asheville. “This is a recreational league for everyone, so we hope to establish a network of teammates, volunteers, sponsors, and friends. While our area has one of the most tight-knit, dynamic, and visible LGBTQAI+ communities in the South, there is a void when it comes to ongoing, low-cost, high-fun recreational sports to gather around while interacting socially.”
Stonewall Sports Asheville chose kickball as its inaugural league as a nostalgic and challenging team sport that provides a fun social experience. Interested players can register online as an individual, small group, or full team for $35 until Sunday, Aug. 6. Games will be played at Buncombe County Sports Park on Sundays in September and October. Proceeds will benefit the Blue Ridge Pride Community Partner Fund.
Organizers want to keep the experience affordable and accessible with registration fees substantially lower than other sports clubs in the area. Expenses will be offset by community sponsorship, also designed for a range of budgets to ensure participation from small businesses and larger corporations alike. Other cities have also added bowling, corn hole, flag football, and volleyball leagues, among other sports. Locally, tennis, softball, and poker have received early requests.
Wanna Play Kickball?
- Cost is $35 per player. Registration fee includes team jersey, seven weeks of kickball play, and invites to socials at local pubs and businesses.
- Register at stonewallasheville.leagueapps.com
- Sign up as a full team of 9 or more. Individuals and small group will be combined with other individuals and/or small groups.
- Games are played at Buncombe County Sports Park (58 Apac Drive in West Asheville/Enka) on Sundays, September 7-October 27 except for September 29.
- Come up with a creative name! A sampling of names from other cities include Sit on My Base, Bottoms of the Ninth, and Betsy Ross’ Speed Balls.
Follow Stonewall Sports Asheville on Facebook and Instagram.
(Cover photo courtesy of Stonewall Sports Richmond.)