Heart. Talent. Skill.
These things matter to teammates.
Inclusion and Diversity Video Competition: Your team or school could win up to $2,500!
All Colorado high schools, teams and groups recognized 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.
- Submit your video entry as early as November 8, 2013. All videos must be submitted before 11:59 MST on February 15, 2013.
- Decision of the judging panel is final. Judges may disqualify or refuse to post a video for any reason so don’t portray drug use, alcohol abuse, offensive language or symbolism, hazing, or other things that you know are against school rules or against the law. Winners will be selected on the basis of creativity, sincerity, emotional impact and adherence to contest guidelines.
- No entry fee is required. No expenses will be reimbursed for video production. All videos become the property of CHSAA and may be used for promotional purposes, without compensation, by CHSAA, You Can Play, Inc. and/or the school or team producing the video.
- A word about music. Bands and artists can be picky about using copyrighted material, even for use in a non-profit organization’s video. When in doubt, seek permission. The same goes for splicing in video from other sources. It’s always best to be original.
- Entries will be accepted from clubs, teams, student activities, organizations and any other group from a Colorado high school. Individual videos may be submitted but will not be eligible for prizes. CHSAA will have the authority to designate which organizations may be eligible for prizes.
- There is no limit to the number of videos that may be submitted by an individual school or organization.
- Language in videos should include “If you can play, you can play,” an acknowledgment of acceptance of gay/lesbian teammates based on talent and skill, and an acknowledgment of the school’s place in Colorado.
- Your submission must include a short description of your video. Please include a few lines about who is in your video, something about your group, team or school, and how your video might help promote inclusion.
- One winner will be selected from all videos submitted in each of the Colorado league divisions (five winners total). For instance, one winner will be chosen from a 1A school and a 5A school — though the winners may be teams, clubs or organizations from that school. The school may enter as a single entity. Winners will receive $500 courtesy of You Can Play. A special Fan Favorite vote will determine the winner of an additional $1,000 prize.
- The judges panel will select a winner ($2,500) and two runner-ups ($1,250 each) from all entries received during the judging period. Winners will be announced during the Colorado state wrestling championships or at other times as decided by CHSAA. Winners will be featured during a special Colorado Countdown period in April online at YouCanPlayProject.org and through Facebook and Twitter promotion.
- Other prizes may be added during the judging period without notice.
- Winners will be posted at CHSAANow.com and YouCanPlayProject.org no later than March 15, 2014. A list of winners may be received by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for making a video
“You Can Play, Colorado!” provides a way for teams, schools and their fans to show support for the simple message that heart, talent and skill matter in sports and student activities — not race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. Here are some tips for making a great video.
1. Say what you feel and show what you mean. Each part of our great state has something unique and teams and schools have their own traits, too. Show it off. We ask video producers and scriptwriters use the “If you can play, you can play” tagline at least once. And, since this is a project about language and ideas – make sure you say it. If you truly support your gay, lesbian, African-American, Hispanic and teammates with other identifiers, say so. If you value the skills of your friends in the marching band, theatre group, or chess club, say that you’ll provide the positive leadership to make them part of your “team.”
Other than that, the video is yours — it doesn’t have to be “If you can skate, you can skate…”. Tell us about your experience as an athlete or fan. Tell everyone why you think You Can Play is important in student activities. Let everyone know that your story is personal and that your school is unique. A combination of personal experience, some good thought, and your own words are the best way to let everyone know that LGBT athletes and straight allies, are all on the same team, as are players, coaches and fans of many different backgrounds. Finally, you’re part of the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA – pronounced CHASSA) so a “We are CHSAA” shoutout is warranted.
2. Look for help from departments and fellow students in the communications, art, digital arts or computer fields. Invite their help in creating videos. And, some local TV or radio stations can offer help. Great videos are judged on content, though, so if you don’t have professional help, your camera phone will get the job done.
3. You are welcome to use the finished video as you see fit. If your school wants to use the video before games, as part of diversity weeks, gay-straight alliance projects or any other cause, you don’t need You Can Play’s or CHSAA’s permission to do so. We would love to hear what you’re doing, though, so please do send us updates.
4. When you’re ready to submit your video, visit CHSAANow.com. Convert your video to the smallest possible MPEG or video file – use a program like Quicktime or Quicktime Pro to export your video for Internet use. The website will tell you how to upload your video to the YouTube page for “You Can Play, Colorado!” Clearly label your video so we’ll know which school or team it is. And, write a few lines about who is in your video, something about your team, group or school, and how your video might help promote through inclusion.
5. Have fun! Sports and student activities are meant to be fun and we want your participation in this project to be enjoyable. Everyone wins when your video shows the spirit of sport, or the creativity of a student activity, and the honesty and care in your thoughts. We appreciate your support and are grateful to showcase your work.