Sunday Sports at Hotel Gaythering

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By: Ian Maloney

Sports and Sunday Funday in Miami Beach at Hotel Gaythering

Surprisingly (not really), the gays love sports too! Hotel Gaythering is leading the way in Miami Beach by hosting a (mostly) gay sports league as part of their commitment to the local LGBTQ+ community. With a new season about to kick off as the famous Miami winter arrives, now is a great time to get involved and get active.

Even if you aren’t really competitive or have never played a sport before, there is a place for you in this league. According to Hotel Gaythering owner Alex Guerra, they welcome players of all skill levels. “There’s no body shaming and nobody should ever feel uncomfortable and that’s something that, as gay people, we might worry about more than most. Many of us grew up afraid to play sports because we don’t want to get picked on or we are scared we aren’t going to be good enough. We love it when we have the opportunity to help people break that stigma.” The league isn’t just for the gays though. They welcome everyone. Guerra went on to say, “it’s open to all. We have lesbians and straight people who play in our league too!” For the volleyball season, teams are divided into competitive and social levels depending on ability, but all the other sports just have one level and things are kept mostly social. No matter what your skill level, you will fit right in.

Along with the Gaythering’s Sunday Funday festivities, the sports league, unofficially called Gaythering Sports, makes Sundays one of the busiest days for the locally-owned and operated hotel. After the games, many of the participants, as well as hotel guests and members of the community, are welcomed back to the Gaythering’s bar for an all-day happy hour and BBQ - what they call Sunday Funday. Absolute, which was one of the first companies to specifically market to the gay community, is the liquor sponsor and they often give out prizes and free drinks during the festivities.

The fall sport is kickball, which is played at Flamingo Park in Miami Beach. Up next for winter 2020 is volleyball, which takes over the courts at Lummus Park - right on the sands of Miami Beach. “We decided to do things differently this year to make it a little easier on our players," said Guerra. "Since there are so many events during the winter on the beach, we decided to switch our volleyball and kickball seasons around. We would often have to have two or three week breaks in between game days because there were other events happening during the high tourist season. So, we decided to do volleyball in the fall, when there are fewer people on the beach and do kickball starting in January.”

The sports league, organized and run with the help of South Florida Club Sport, is in its third year. It has continued to grow from a small league of kickball players into a group with more than 200 participants, and has added volleyball and flag football. It has become an important way for many people who might not have met any other way to meet new people, make connections with other members of the community, and to stretch outside of their comfort zone. One of the team's members are all friends because they met at the league and have become so close that they have dinner together nearly every Sunday night, even when there is a break between seasons. There has also been at least one couple formed when the guys met on the kickball field!

For more information about the league, visit Hotel Gaythering’s Instagram or Facebook page to find out when the next signups are happening.

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