COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's basketball teams are partnering with the College's Center for Women and Gender to host Pride Games this coming Tuesday, drawing inspiration from the You Can Play Project's message of inclusion, especially involving the LGBTQIA+ community.
Members of both teams will wear rainbow shoes laces and warm-up T-shirts featuring a rainbow knight head, with the shirts sold at the front gate (cash or check only). You can also contact women's head coach Shannon Bollhardt at email@example.com or (802) 654-2503 to purchase a shirt. The women tip off with Merrimack College at 5:30 p.m. in the Ross Sports Center before the men follow at 7:30 p.m.
As part of the Pride Games, sophomore Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep) and her sister, Brenna, a student at Champlain College in Burlington, filmed and produced a promotional video sharing the basketball programs' message of inclusion. The video can be seen here. The women's basketball team was also among numerous Purple Knight Athletics programs that participated in September's Vermont Pride Parade and Festival in Downtown Burlington.
The basketball teams are following in the footsteps of the men's ice hockey team, which hosted a Hockey is for Everyone Pride Game in January, which mirrored the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone month that supported "any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink. We believe all hockey programs - from professionals to youth organizations - should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status." Among others, men's ice hockey also worked with the Center for Women and Gender for the contest.
While not officially partnering with the You Can Play Project, the Purple Knight basketball teams were inspired for their event by You Can Play, which is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, and only by what they contribute to the sport or their team's success. For more information, visit youcanplayproject.org.