TRU Wolfpack marks one year of participation in the You Can Play campaign. The You Can Play campaign champions for complete support of LGBTQ2S+ members of the sports community.
“It is important to me and our institution that any athlete, coach, official; anyone who comes to participate in sports at TRU knows they can do it in a safe place and be comfortable being who they are,” Curtis Atkinson, TRU Athletics and Recreation director, said in a press release, “Hopefully, we will find other community partners to help us make it bigger and better every year.”
You Can Play originally was founded in 2012 in an official partnership with the NHL. The campaign works with the sole determination to eradicate homophobia in the sports world.
“You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” states the campaign’s official mission statement.
The campaign works with the slogan “If you can play, you can play”.
According to Campus Pride statistics as of 2012, 81 per cent of Canadians have witnessed or experienced homophobia in sports. This daunting statistic is the reason many institutions across North America are loudly vocalizing their support for the campaign.
TRU Wolfpack is working to support not only their sports community on campus but lending a helping hand to community groups such as Kamloops Pride.
“We’d love to get to a point where we had partners that came to table with us and wanted to do weekend events or big events to make it bigger and better but right now for us it’s very much an important message that we want to share that you can be your authentic self,” Atkinson said.
In addition to taking a firm stance on homophobia in their community, the Wolfpack dedicates an entire game to the campaign in a more explicit showcase of support with community speakers, vendors and booths serving more information and uniforms dedicated to the LGBTQ2S+ community.
“My hope is that if it’s impacted someone in a positive way then that’s a great start but we want, whether it’s our current athletes or our future athletes, to know they will be supported and our institution believes in respect, inclusion, diversity and equality and our athletic program certainly feels the same way,” Atkinson stated.