Well the season has drawn to an end and the LGBT Center’s softball team finished with three wins this year…which is two more than last year! But it’s not all about the wins.
The team was a way to offer a physical activity that would allow LGBT women and allies to socialize with one another. “We wanted to get a team together of girls who wanted to get some exercise and have some fun,” said Coach Val Plumley. “We do have a good time and that’s the big drive for me.”
The camaraderie is evident with the team winning the Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row. “It’s all in the atmosphere you create,” said Coach Plumley. With 18 years of softball experience, Plumley knows the game.
Many of the players had minimal knowledge and experience playing softball before joining. “We help the girls who don’t have softball experience and we have some extra equipment, bats and gloves, for those who don’t have their own,” said Plumley. This year the team was thrilled when teammate Rachel Moran received the MVP award and teammate Maggie Lussier won the Coach’s Award— indications of the progress the team has made.
Team members range from their mid 20’s to over 50 years old and include three sets of mothers and daughters. Coach Plumley makes certain that everybody plays in each game. “If you go to practice after practice and never play, it’s no fun,” she said. The team also has some loyal fans and you’ll often see partners, boyfriends, kids and grandkids cheering them on from the stands.
Leah Calzolaio is the Project Coordinator for the Cortland LGBT Center. “We’re always looking at the impact of the programs and activities we offer,” she said. “More than half the team members said they had an increase in the amount of time they felt part of a group and nearly half increased their physical activity. The team also provided an opportunity for the softball players to spend more time around people from the LGBT community. Overall, a great success!”
When asked about the prospects for next year’s team, Coach Plumley responded enthusiastically, “We’ll definitely be back!”