NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Athlete Ally announced the launch of Champions of Inclusion, the first free, comprehensive online curriculum for coaches on LGBTQ respect and inclusion within athletics. Designed to educate coaches, athletic directors, Senior Women Administrators, trainers, and captains at the collegiate, club, and K-12 level across the U.S., Champions of Inclusion aims to eliminate geographic and financial barriers to LGBTQ education.
Through a series of interactive quizzes and video modules featuring LGBTQ athletes, coaches, professors, and inclusion experts, curriculum participants learn about sexuality and gender, obstacles faced by LGBTQ athletes, how to proactively foster an inclusive athletic community, and how to ensure their own teams and leagues have sustainable, inclusive policies and practices.
"The people who most need to be reached on LGBTQ issues are often educated the least," said Hudson Taylor, Executive Director of Athlete Ally. "We designed this curriculum to be accessible, interactive, time and cost effective, and to help lay a solid foundation for teams to not only be accepting of LGBTQ athletes, but to proactively foster an environment where all athletes feel safe, welcomed and included."
80% of people worldwide have experienced homophobia in sport, and LGBTQ individuals drop out of sport at nearly double the rate of their cisgender and heterosexual peers.12 Awareness-raising through education is a key step to fostering inclusion. This points to a dire need for coaches and athletic leaders to be educated on LGBTQ issues, without cost, geography or time constraints serving as barriers.
"With the Champions of Inclusion curriculum, Athlete Ally has created a much-need tool that caters to the busy schedule of coaches, athletic leaders and administrators," said Shaun Richard, Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Ohio State University. "LGBTQ equality is incredibly important to Ohio State University Athletics, and Athlete Ally has played a major role in helping us have the tools we need to foster an inclusive campus. This expert-driven resource will be an essential part of our diversity trainings moving forward."
"Positive Coaches Alliance (PCA) is excited for the launch of the Athlete Ally curriculum," said Jason Sacks, Vice President of Business Development & Philanthropy at PCA. "Our partners are always looking to learn and grow as parents, coaches and administrators, and we know this will only support them further in creating a positive, safe and inclusive youth sports environment for their children."
"USA Weightlifting is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community within our sport," said Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Weightlifting. "Sport is sport, and Athlete Ally's Champions of Inclusion curriculum provides the necessary education and a platform for developing a more inclusive sport culture."
"The Champions of Inclusion curriculum presents an exciting opportunity for coaches and athletics professionals to gain important knowledge and understanding about LGBTQ inclusion in athletics," said Kerrie Turner, Head Gymnastics Coach at Bowling Green State University and President of the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association. "The program is easy to navigate and self-paced to accommodate the complex schedules of coaches, sport leaders, administrators and athletes. Upon completion, I felt confident that I have the necessary tools and resources to create impactful dialogue within my team and colleagues and to create inclusive environments in athletics. There is important work to be done in diversity and inclusion and, as coaches and leaders, education and resources are greatly needed."
To access the curriculum or learn more, please visit learn.athleteally.org.
About Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally believes sport will change the world when it welcomes and empowers all people. As a leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of sport and LGBTQ equality, Athlete Ally works to end the structural and systemic oppression that isolates, excludes and endangers LGBTQ people in sport. We educate individuals and institutions to understand obstacles to inclusion for LGBTQ people and how they can build an inclusive culture within their athletic communities. We work to ensure sport governing bodies, teams and leagues adopt policies that reflect the diversity of their constituents. We incubate athlete activism to advance LGBTQ equality in and through sport.
1 Denison E, Kitchen A. (2015). Out on the Fields: The first international study on homophobia in sport. Nielsen, Bingham Cup Sydney 2014, Australian Sports Commission, Federation of Gay Games. Accessed through: http://www.outonthefields.com/
2 Marion Douall, Ryan J. Watson, Annie Smith, Yuko Homma, & Elizabeth Saewyc. 2018. Are we leveling the playing field? Trends and disparities in sports participation among sexual minority youth in Canada. Journal of Sport and Health Science 7 (218-226).
SOURCE Athlete Ally