DENVER — All it takes is a seat in the dugout and a spot on the lineup card to feel like you finally belong.
"GDASA created a home for me," Londell Jackson said. "I always wanted to participate in a sports league or sports association and never felt welcomed and I was embraced. I was embraced like family."
Jackson is the incoming commissioner for the Greater Denver Area Sports Association (GDASA). The league was created in 2017 by Scott and Jason Eckhoff to bring the LGBTQ+ community and its allies together in a safe and positive atmosphere through engaging social and competitive sports within Colorado.
"Looking at what the community needed and where it was going, there were a lot of disjointed activities out there and people not really finding their space, so we decided, 'let's come together, we know what it feels like,'" Scott Eckhoff said.
After four years, Eckhoff is stepping down as commissioner of the board, but remains an active participant in the highly competitive spring and summer softball leagues and its surrounding tournaments.
The fall league, however, was created to be a more carefree league to meet and greet people within the community
"In Fall Ball, we like to have theme weeks. Every week, there's a different theme where people can express themselves. It takes away some of that competitiveness."
Some of those themes included wigs, super heroes and Halloween. It's a way for athletes to express individuality, which is exactly what GDASA stands for at its core.
"It's more than softball. GDASA is an association of individuals. It's an association of individuals working together to bring community to life," Jackson said. "A community exists of many different types of people, regardless of your race, your creed, your nationality, your skill level, or lack thereof, I hope to continue that tradition and building upon that strength, and let people know that you are welcome here."
GDASA offers competitive and non-competitive leagues for softball, tennis and golf, with plans to expand in the near future.