Game on: Introducing the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds
SX is proud to sponsor all-girls team, the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds, heading to Darwin for the 3rd Asia-Pacific Outgames. Cec Busby finds out what they have in store.
When Sydney’s local lesbian baseball clubs first heard the news the Asia-Pacific Outgames were coming to Darwin in 2014, it seemed a no-brainer that the Sydney league would field a team to compete. Enter stage left, the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds.
A self-described “mixed bag of ladies” hailing from Adelaide, regional NSW, New Zealand, Central Coast and Sydney, the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds are ready to wave the flag for Australia’s sporty lesbians.
Heading up the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds are co-captains Mags Jenkins and Hayley Lockett. Jenkins plays for The Stealers and Lockett for The Shamrocks in Sydney’s Women’s Baseball League. Jenkins says the decision to participate at the Outgames was simple – all it took was one bright spark to suggest a trip to sunny Darwin for the week and everyone was hooked.
“Give a bunch of lesbians a fun idea and wow, do things happen quickly,” she laughed. “Any excuse really to have some fun in the sun with an awesome bunch of ladies.”
Lockett told SX tongue-in-cheek that the idea of a group of women in uniform also piqued her interest. “Sixteen ladies swarming on Darwin with matching outfits all week will be a blast. We will turn heads, that’s for sure.” She added many of the women competing for the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds have never been to the Top End before, so the trip provides the opportunity for a bit of a travel and adventure as well.
Image: The SX Sydney Rough Diamonds are Roz Vanderzwet, Collie Patterson, Tash Ball, Shelley Tinworth, Belinda Evernden, Mags Jenkins, Mel D'Arcy, Laura Steel, Karlie Wise, Hayley Lockett, Nikki Tugwell, Loretta Cosgrove, Stacy Warren and Jordana Blank. Photos: John McRae (top); Cec Busby
While it may sound like the girls are simply heading to Darwin for a gay-friendly good time, both women assured SX they are keen to represent in their chosen sport. For the 2014 Outgames, the women’s teams will compete in a series of events known as a ‘Gayathlon’. Teams will compete across a series of sports from basketball to soccer, volleyball and softball.
“It is super exciting that now there are women from all over Australia and the Asia-Pacific participating in this format,” Lockett enthused. “What a way to meet more amazing women participating in the games alongside us.
“We are going to play a range of ladies teams in basketball, soccer, volley ball and softball. Luckily our uniforms are versatile – they’ll work for all the sports – and of course keep us looking fabulous whilst participating in the Gayathlon.”
On a serious note Jenkins suggested events such as the Outgames are especially important for promoting inclusivity in sport and celebrating our identities.
“Events like this give us a chance to embrace who we are and not feel judged and meet other people from all over the place,” she said.
Jenkins said she is also looking forward to competing on an “even playing field ... where you are not judged for who you are – you just participate and play.”
Both girls hope the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds will come away from the games with a medal or two.
“We should win best dressed,” Jenkins laughed.
“Softball is our sport of choice but look out for us in the basketball and soccer,” she added in a more serious tone. “We might have a few aces – or flukes – up our sleeve. Volleyball might be a bit trial and error, we aren’t the tallest bunch. However, will be giving it a red hot go!”
As for their plan of attack, Lockett told SX distraction will be their opening gambit.
“Keep up the element of surprise, stay low, have a crack and of course all whilst having a laugh.”
Jenkins added: “The Rough Diamonds are ready for a week full of action and no sleep. We are looking forward to reporting back to SX during the week as to our progress and sending some holiday snaps back.”
The Asia-Pacific Outgames is on until May 16 in Darwin.
SX is proud to support the SX Sydney Rough Diamonds. We wish the team all the best at the Asia-Pacific Outgames in Darwin!