Thru the Athlete Lens: Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ+ Athletes
It is time to give our LGBTQ+ athletes a voice and to share their perspectives and experiences on what coaches can do to help create more inclusive spaces for their athletes. We have invited a diverse group of athletes who will be generously sharing their own stories and offering strategies to build more welcoming teams. Coaches need to be allies for athletes, advocating and standing up for their team. Let’s explore ways to demonstrate strong allyship!
Our reverse panel is an opportunity for coaches to learn from our athletes and ask questions. It is a safe space to learn with an open mind and genuine curiosity.
I am an Electrical and Biomedical Engineering graduate from Western University, currently pursuing a Master’s degree at Ryerson University. My first sport was basketball – I played rep for YNBA, three years of NACBAIT, and coached for a couple years with York South Silver Knights. My main sport was badminton, which I’ve played at the national level for almost 9 years. I trained and coached at multiple different clubs throughout my career and I played for Western’s varsity badminton team in my first two years of undergrad, where I was a two-time OUA All-Star and Western women’s badminton MVP.
A couple years ago, I transitioned from competitive badminton to ultimate, having played on Western’s varsity ultimate team throughout my undergrad. I also played three years on Tox6ix (a Toronto women’s touring team), and played all around Asia (both club and university) during my year of exchange in Singapore.
As a multi-sport athlete and a member of the LGBTQ community, I’m so excited to be a part of this conversation and to hopefully be able to contribute even just a little bit to creating more inclusive and supportive environments for other athletes.
I am a Queer Western University Graduate and Varsity Athlete/Coach with a double major in Psychology and French Language and Linguistics. I am currently a working traveller and advocate (though the travelling part has taken a backseat since the pandemic!). I quite literally grew up in sports, starting with soccer, ringette and volleyball, then grew into basketball, snowboarding, ultimate frisbee and even more, playing at various competitive provincial levels. I began coaching young athletes as soon as I was able to and continue to as much as possible through work and volunteering. After competing for years throughout my high school career as one of UCC’s Most Promising Athletes, I took a 3 year break from competitive sport as I entered University. However, I found my home once again with the Varsity Ultimate Frisbee Team, where I played for two years and then coached for the following three years, during which we became one of the top 3 women’s teams at the Canadian University Ultimate Championships. I have continued with Ultimate throughout my travels, joining a league down in Tasmania, Australia and even running clinics where I can. It’s an honour to be here with other spectacular athletes to move forward in creating a safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ Athletes.
I am a 23 year old Western alum with an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. This upcoming year I am excited to continue my education at Lambton College for their Pre-Service Firefighting program! I’ve been a multi-sport athlete ever since I was young and sport was a consistent outlet that I could participate in no matter where I was or what season it might have been. Basketball is my favourite sport, but I also love playing flag football, soccer and even innertube water polo! My favourite part about sport is the bonds created amongst teammates, as well as the leadership opportunities that sport provides.