Intramural sports are a sure way to build camaraderie, make friends and forge strong bonds of community – all while getting a workout, or at least engaging in an activity you love.

The Cactus Tennis Alliance promotes the sport of tennis within the Phoenix metro gay and lesbian community. Find more about the group here on Facebook.

While the group has activities all year round, possibly the most important calendar event is The Cactus Open 2022, which is on in Phoenix, Feb. 19 - 22. Get all the details here.

“We usually have anywhere from 30 to 40 people register to play in the tournament, with a majority of these players coming from out of town,” Omar Garcia, Cactus Open tournament director told OUTvoices Phoenix back in the day.

Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance

GLTA asks that its various tournaments sponsor a charity of choice along with their events. This year, the Cactus Tennis Alliance is sponsoring the Valley Youth Theatre of Phoenix, whose mission is to foster excellence and interest in the performing arts among Valley youth.

“We’re really trying to help kids to follow their interests and passion, as we know a lot of these young kids feel the same way about theater as we do about tennis,” Garcia said. “Another plus is that we get to support a local Phoenix organization.”

The Local League

The CTA, which is registered with the United States Tennis Association as a community tennis association, continues the mission of providing inclusive sports organizations for the LGBT community, while stressing the importance of remaining open to allies and anyone interested in playing.

“In sports it’s important to keep an open mind and be accepting of everyone,” Garcia said. “It’s important for the LGBT community to have its own place to play, but we like to keep it open and support allies the way they support us when we play.”

The alliance meets at 7 p.m. on Friday and Sunday nights at the Phoenix Tennis Center for drop-in tennis, where players of all skill levels may show up to play for two hours for an $8 court and light fee. Off the court, players also meet for social events, including viewing parties for Grand Slam events.