- Gareth Evans-Jones
The Cardiff Baseliners
For the next in our series of articles highlighting LGBTQ+ sports and social clubs, we talked to Cardiff Baseliners. It is the first LGBTQ+ Tennis Club in Wales and, since March 2022, has been making its mark as an important part of the LGBTQ+ world in South Wales.
At LGBTQymru, we’re really pleased to see people putting their heads above the parapet, taking the initiative and creating sports and social clubs for our LGBTQommunities.
Anyone with an interest in sport will know that there has been a noticeable gap in what was being offered sports-wise for LGBTQ+ people. With a growing interest and now with over 30 members, we wanted to find out more.
Baseliners’ founder and Chair, Neil Roberts, said:
“We had an LGBTQ+ club for rugby, football and badminton, but we didn’t have an equivalent for tennis in any part of Wales. I set up this club, with the support of Tennis Wales, to allow all LGBTQ+ people to enjoy tennis as much as I do.”
Without doubt, the club has established itself over two seasons and has become a staple part of the LGBTQ+ sporting scene and our queer community in Cardiff. The club offers a safe space for LGBTQ+ people who have not had access to a traditional club to come and play, judgement free, and it allows them the space to fall in love with the game!
Asked whether the club would have existed in Cardiff 10 years ago and what lies ahead, Neil said:
“Potentially, it could have started years ago but it might have taken longer to establish. However, we have had a huge amount of support from Tennis Wales, who have allowed us to develop very quickly since our inception.”
“For the future we aspire for a happy and growing membership, regular tournaments with other UK LGBTQ+ tennis clubs, to take part in other tournaments here in South Wales, and to support other LGBTQ+ tennis clubs to spring up across Wales and the rest of the UK.”
While training and playing tennis is integral to the Baseliners, it prides itself on the social aspects of being part of the club and it’s fantastic to see that they hold regular social events at their partner venue, The Golden Cross in Cardiff.
The club’s regular training sessions take place on Saturdays between 12pm and 2pm at Heath Park, Cardiff. However, in case of rain, it’s best to keep an eye on the club’s social media pages for updates!
If you’re interested in joining the Baseliners, get in touch via their social media pages:
Facebook and Insta @CardiffBaseliners,
They’re looking forward to hearing from you!
If you have an LGBTQ+ inclusive sports or social group or association you’d like us to highlight, please get in touch with Magazine@lgbtqymru.wales