This past Sunday (August 6) was the 39th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade where viaSport marched alongside You Can Play, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, B.C. Lions, and provincial sport organizations Curl BC and Judo BC. Under the rainbow balloons and flags was a larger purpose – one where sport organizations across all levels marched together in commitment of making sport a place where all British Columbians feel safe and welcome.
We know that sport is not perfect, and recent research indicates that gay, lesbian and bisexual teens in B.C. are half as likely to participate. With every empowering and uplifting story comes the heartbreaking possibility of feeling like one doesn’t belong in a sporting community. When bullying, harassment, and discrimination makes its way onto the field of play, everyone loses.
While there is still progress to be made towards inclusivity across all sports, marching with our sport partners demonstrates a commitment to working together towards fostering a culture and community where every individual feels welcome and accepted in sport, regardless of their sexual identity or orientation. This year, our aim is to unite the B.C. sport sector towards positive changes. After all, everyone has a role to play in building an inclusive sport culture, including us.
This year’s Pride Parade is just the beginning.
On September 19, we are further uniting the sector with our Forum -- Promoting Respect and Inclusion through Diversity Education (P.R.I.D.E.) in Sport. In partnership with You Can Play, we are thrilled to host this educational evening to help coaches, parents, athletes, allies and volunteers understand the need for inclusion in sport, and discuss ways to create inclusive spaces for individuals that identify with the LGBTQI2S community.
We’re proud to feature Chris Mosier as our Keynote speaker. Chris is the first openly transgender athlete to compete for Team USA and an inspiring figure for LGBTQI2S athletes around the globe. Register to hear him and other prominent guests speak to inclusion in sport next month.