Heart. Talent. Commitment.
These things matter to teammates.
Inclusion and Diversity Video Competition: Your team or school could win up to $2,500!
Teams, clubs or other groups of students from any CHSAA member high school are eligible to enter and win.
About the contest
Teams come in all shapes and sizes. A team can be just two –- beach volleyball, tennis and rodeo. Or, a team can be a cast of dozens — a football, hockey or lacrosse team — or, a debate, band, chess or theatre group. The size of the team might vary, but the need to rely on friends and teammates who have great skills, work ethic and heart is the same. Winning only happens when teams include everyone who might contribute.
The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and the You Can Play Project are teaming up to present voices from all over Colorado as they talk about teamwork, respect and inclusion. “You Can Play, Colorado!” is part of the We Are CHSAA: Promoting Positive Leadership program. It’s a video competition and educational experience dedicated to ensuring that all students are encouraged to participate and be accepted for what they bring to a team, and not excluded for what some might see as differences.
Teams, clubs, student organizations and entire schools are invited to submit videos talking about their teams, towns and why they welcome everyone based on heart, talent and skill without excluding students because of their race, religions, sexual orientation or gender identity, or other factors.
Nearly 200,000 students across Colorado take part in sports programs and student activities each year. Every one of them has a stake in creating environments that promote success, both individual and team. Winning teams are made when the best debater might have a unique national origin or when the best player on the hockey team is gay — but he or she is allowed to play.
In promoting equality in sports and student activities, You Can Play and CHSAA are pleased to welcome players who know that diversity and inclusion are important: members of the Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Denver Nuggets, Denver Outlaws, Grand Junction Rockies, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls,
CHSAA is the authority on all things related to Colorado’s sports and student activities. CHSAA holds competitions for 16 different sports as well as music, sportsmanship, student council and spirit. CHSAA has been promoting the best in high school activities in Colorado since 1921.
About You Can Play
The project started in sports when players in the National Hockey League spoke up in support of the late Brendan Burke’s message that being gay shouldn’t disqualify kids from pursuing the sports they love, that “if you can play, you can play.” Brendan’s father is a former NHL general manager and his brother a former NHL scout, so, when Brendan, a college sophomore told his family and Miami University hockey teammates that he was gay, he was worried about the repercussions. He need not have worried — his family and friends accepted him unconditionally. His experience started a conversation about casual homophobia in sports — language we use without meaning it — and how it affects athletes.
While hockey took the lead in promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bi and transgender athletes, thousands of high school, college and professional athletes have now joined the You Can Play Project in supporting athletes regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, sex, national background or other identifying factors. The National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse have all been represented in videos that support inclusion and diversity.
Sports fans also have a role in making sure arenas and other sports venues welcome diversity. High profile sports fans come from everywhere and internationally known musicians, who happen to be sports fans, have joined the You Can Play Project including FUN. and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
About the Sponsors and Supporters
Generous financial support for “You Can Play, Colorado!” is provided by the Gill Foundation’s Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado.
Additional support is provided by Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Colorado Association of School Boards, Colorado Charter School Institute, Colorado Education Association, Colorado League of Charter Schools, Colorado School Safety Resource Center, Colorado Rural Caucus, One Colorado Education Fund and the Positive Coaching Alliance.