June is Pride Month, and kids are invited to celebrate and get active at Unmatched Athlete’s LGBTQ+ Youth Sports Field Day at the UA House at Fayette on Saturday, June 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. Unmatched Athlete is a new nonprofit dedicated to encouraging LGBTQ+ youth in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas to participate in sports and fitness and explore their athletic creativity.
Co-founder and president Olanrele Oni says that he became motivated to create this organization in July 2020 as the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement became an international phenomenon. Oni, angry with the violence and discrimination that Black transgender women were subjected to, wanted to do something.
“Sports have been a passion of mine since I was young, and I think they have a big impact on culture, especially with young people,” he says. “When you look at how LGBTQ+ and transgender people have fared in the sports arena, you see that there’s some good things but there’s a level of toxicity that exists as well.”
Oni and his husband, Justin Fair, decided to create an organization that encourages LGBTQ+ youth to have a different perspective and narrative on sports.
Their free Field Day will serve as a pre-launch event for the organization, which hopes to start offering six club sports—flag football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee and track—by the end of the summer for kids with all levels of experience.
All LGBTQ+ youth ages 5 to 18 as well as allies, family and friends are welcome at the Field Day which will feature soccer drills and a KanJam tournament for teams of two. Each team must have at least one person between the ages of 11 and 18 with one or both members identifying as LGBTQ+ youth. Teams who sign up the earliest for the tournament will be the first to be considered.
The event will also feature free T-shirts from Under Armour as well as a special visit from the Baltimore Ravens’ beloved mascot, Poe.
If you’re interested in its many volunteer opportunities, email [email protected]. Unmatched Athlete is also hiring for its board of directors and encourages anyone who is a person of color, LGBTQ+ and has experience in law, accounting or marketing to reach out at [email protected] or 410-989-1586.