Bulls bring GLBT soccer to Nashville

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Have you already given up on those New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you’ve decided that there just aren’t any new people to meet in Nashville? Or is there nothing left to motivate you to lose those extra pounds?

If so, you might want to reconsider throwing in the towel quite so fast. Inspired by the Nashville Grizzlies’ recent success in bringing GLBT rugby to Nashville, the Nashville Bulls are now charging onto the scene, introducing GLBT soccer to the area.

Team organizer Todd Hughes chose soccer as a less bone-crushing alternative to rugby and to take advantage of what Hughes describes as a “last chance” to fulfill a personal dream.

"Since starting to watch the English Premier League," Hughes says, "I have always wanted to play." But Hughes’ choice was not just about personal preference, it also had to do with the nature of the game. Unlike football or softball where a quarterback or pitcher run most of the game, soccer, says Hughes, "lends itself to everyone being involved.”

The team is in the planning phase and looking for players. The Bulls welcome anyone regardless of experience, athletic ability or age. Hughes describes practice as consisting of drills that teach even newcomers “how to interact with the ball” and pick-up games at the Vanderbilt fields that will bring veterans back to playing speed. While pick-up games could seem intimidating to new players, Bulls player Mike Smith, a newcomer to the game, was happy to find that the other teams were “very welcoming in the spirit of soccer.”

Hughes says he has received a great deal of interest in the team, but many potential players are “waiting to see if it’s real.” If you’re part of that group, don’t hesitate too long. The Bulls plan to participate in the Nashville Sports League’s winter soccer league, which runs from late-January to mid-March. The Bulls already have enough members to cover the six-on-six (four men and two women) format. But there’s plenty of room for substitutes and still time to get involved for the winter.

Deciding to participate in the winter league is only the beginning for the Bulls. There are still many options to consider in the future. Nashville Sport League’s spring soccer league starts in mid-April and runs through June. In the long run, the Bulls are also contemplating traveling to play other regional GLBT soccer teams, including the Hotlanta Blaze and Heat. Though international competition is not under consideration yet, some members are pondering attendance at the International Gay and Lesbian Football (Soccer) Association World Championship, which will be held in Buenos Aires in September.

Want to be part of the action? If you think you’re a player, strap on those cleats. And if you’ve got (soccer) balls, bring one to practice. For more information, check out: www.myspace.com/glbtsoccernashville, www.nashvillesportsleagues.com and www.iglfa.org.