This Memorial Day Weekend has been a big one for Denver, CO. The Mile-High City played host for two major LGBT sports events at the same time, the NAGAAA Cup Softball Tournament and the North American Gay Volleyball Association Championships.
The NAGAAA Cup is the first of 2 major annual tournaments for gay softball. The tournament draws more than 200 athletes to compete in A and B divisions of softball. It is the counterpart to the Gay Softball World Series held every fall and is considerably bigger. The NAGAAA Cup was hosted in Denver this year after an extensive selection process and included a whole series of parties and social events throughout the weekend in between the softball tournament.
With the help of Cloud Sports Network, all the games from the 2019 NAGAAA Cup were streamed live on their Facebook as well.The event concluded with the “Pink Brunch” hosted by the Denver Triangle and a bonus Memorial Day baseball game on Memorial Day at the Colorado Rockies.
At the same time, the 2019 NAGVA Championships which serves as the championships of North American Gay Volleyball also took place this weekend at the Colorado Convention Center. Over 1500 players took part in the tournament. The event attracted local media attention with a segment and article on CBS 4 Denver. NAGVA included its own series of social events and parties as well, also concluding the weekend with a brunch at Mile High Hamburger Mary’s on Monday.
The local gay community of Denver really came out to support the events. From the various LGBT bars and clubs throughout the city hosting the different social events and parties to having Cheer Colorado come out and provide the spirit and support the teams while raising money for charity. The sporting events go beyond just creating a “safe space” for LGBT athletes, they are an important driver for building community and friendship while also empowering LGBT people to pursue sports, be athletic and build strength.
“Whether it be the facility, the hotel, the great social activities and all of the great things you can do in the city, just outside the city and that’s what Denver has which makes it a special place for championships,” said Jason Fallon, President of NAVGA.
“I grew up as a gay kid who loved sports, I watch ESPN every day, and I’m not that typical gay guy that you see out there and I was like, ‘Is there a place for me?’ And yeah, there is a place for me,” he said.
In addition, Denver was also the host of the 2018 Gay Bowl last fall and they’re really establishing themselves as a very strong, well organized, premier city for LGBT sports. Congratulations Denver for your success in hosting these events. We are looking forward to seeing more from Denver in the future!
By Dirk Smith
Photo Credits: Tony Smith, NAGAAA Cup 2019, Cheer Colorado