First published on 29 Apr 2013. Updated on 29 Jul 2013.
Winter’s not the best time for running around topless and staying tanned and toned. There are, however, ways the gays can keep fit and active through the bleaker months.
The Pink Magpies
Admittedly one of the best things about winter in Melbourne is AFL football. There’s something very sexy about watching very fit men dashing around an oval in sleeveless tops and shorty shorts chasing a ball, grappling each other and enjoying a man-hug or cheeky arse-slap on the field. Surprisingly, there’s only one dedicated gay footy fan club, and that’s the Pink Magpies – and they’re sanctioned by Collingwood too, which is great. They certainly put paid to clichés and stereotypes often associated with both gay people and Collingwood supporters. The Pink Magpies meet regularly before Collingwood matches, and new members are always welcome, queer or otherwise.
Melbourne Chargers Rugby
If watching AFL isn’t your thing, and you prefer to get a bit more physical, there’s always the gay rugby union team, the Melbourne Chargers. The 2013 season is well under way, and you can either get involved as a player or just a spectator. They’ve been going since 2009, and welcome all sexualities, fitness levels and ages, and have proved to be a strong team. They’ve travelled to both Minneapolis in the US and Manchester in England to compete against other gay rugby teams. Here at home, they compete in Victorian Rugby Union games against other local teams. They also have regular social get-togethers and fundraisers. And with training every Tuesday and Thursday night, it’s a great way to stay fit.
For those who like their sports on the wet side, then maybe consider becoming a Glamourhead Shark Swimmi ng Club. These inclusive water babies have been going since 2001, when they formed to compete at the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, and are one of Melbourne’s largest masters swimming clubs. If you think it’s too cold to slip into your Speedos or one-piece, fear not. Training happens every Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the heated indoor pool at Wesley College in Prahran, and Sunday afternoons at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Swimming’s not just for summer, you know. And you still get to wear Speedos.
Of course, if you’re looking for a water sport that’s a little more physical, then water polo may be what you’re after. And yes, of course, there’s a gay water polo team, Melbourne Surge. The Surge boys are always happy to welcome new players, and often have Rookie introduction days. They also train all through winter, and compete against other Victorian water polo teams in state competitions, and are currently training to compete in the World OutGames in Antwerp in July. Surge trains every Sunday afternoon at the South Yarra Sports Centre, so pull on your Speedos and make a splash to keep fit this winter.
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