I am really pleased to share some great news with you: GLSEN (Gay Straight Education Network) has launched “Changing the Game: The GLSEN Sports Project.” The project mission is to make K-12 athletics and physical education safe, respectful and inclusive for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions. Our primary target audiences are K-12 coaches, athletic administrators, physical education teachers, students and parents.
I’ve been working with GLSEN (as director of the project for several months to design the project and get our web site up and running. We have some exciting resources on the site now and will adding more each month. Here is a short selection of some of the resources you will find on the web site as we continue to add new content:
• Policy and Best Practice recommendations for making sports and physical education inclusive and respectful for LGBT students.
• The Team Respect Challenge: An invitation to school sports teams to take the Team Respect Challenge to be leaders promoting respect and standing against bullying and name-calling on their teams and in their schools. We post Team Respect Challenge team photos on our website.
• The Safe Sports Space Campaign: A campaign to raise awareness of the importance of making school sports spaces (gyms, locker rooms, playing fields and classrooms) safe for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions. We’ve got Safe Sports Space stickers and some Safe Sports Space Rules to post in schools to remind everyone what it means to have a safe sport space.
• The Game Changer Video Project: An invitation to K-12 coaches, students, parents and friends to make and send us a short video about someone in their school who “changes the game” by taking leadership to make sports or physical education safe and welcoming for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
• A Changing the Game blog where we will invite students, coaches, teachers and LGBT sports advocates to share their experiences, ideas and perspectives each month.
• Links to other great resources like Athlete Ally, Our Group, NCLR Sports Project, Fearless Photo Exhibit and Outsports.com.
• Staff development modules for coaches and teachers as well as on-site training programs that GLSEN sports staff will lead in schools.
• We also have some terrific Changing the Game caps, tee shirts and stickers you can purchase at the GLSEN online store.
• And more.
I’ve had some great help developing the project, not only from the folks at GLSEN, but also from a distinguished advisory group of twenty people who each has a demonstrated commitment to making sports a great place for LGBT people. We also have a wonderful Changing the Game All Star Team of well known sportspeople from professional and Olympic sports who endorse our efforts and are committed to our goals of making sports a great place for all students.
Changing the Game will also have a Facebook page (Join us) and we’ll be on Twitter too (Follow us). If you are in K-12 schools or if you have friends who work in or attend or have children in K-12 schools, send them our web site address – sports.glsen.org. Or send our web address to your high school alma mater. Help us spread the word about Changing the Game. With you help we can do it. Respect. Are YOU Bringin’ It?