OTTAWA, ON: On this International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia , the LGBTQI2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Two-Spirit) Sport Inclusion Task Force (SITF) and Skate Canada are excited to announce a partnership on a pilot project to make sport more welcoming to sexual and gender-diverse people.

The pilot builds on the results of SITF’s environmental scan conducted by SITF members Dr. William Bridel at the University of Calgary and Tristan Vogel from the University of Waterloo, that assessed existing policies, resources and work done relating to LGBTQI2S inclusion by national sport organizations across Canada. The SITF subsequently identified as a priority the development of an LGBTQI2S sport inclusion tool kit that sport organizations could use to make their sport more welcoming to sexual and gender minorities. Additionally, SITF sought out National Sports Organizations (NSO) that the SITF could work with on testing and refining the tool kit, as well as working with each NSO to develop an action plan for LGBTQI2S inclusion in their organization.

A key part of the initial work being done with Skate Canada is building awareness and understanding amongst staff of LGBTQI2S issues in their sport, and what role each person within the organization can play.

Today Skate Canada staff will be attending a one-day training session delivered by Jennifer Birch-Jones, the LGBTQI2S Sport Inclusion Lead for the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport (CAAWS). A critical aspect to the training will be the opportunity for staff to hear first-hand the lived experiences of LGBTQI2S athletes. Rosie Cossar, an Olympian and Manager of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s #OneTeam initiative, will share her experiences and insights with the staff about being LGBTQ-identified in a judged artistic sport.

Quote from SITF: “We are very excited to be partnering with Skate Canada on this important work. As a leader in the Canadian sport community, we recognize the value that Skate Canada will bring to helping the SITF refine the tools we are developing to help all sport organizations create welcoming and safe places for those who identify as LGBTQI2S in their sport.” – Christine Hsu, SITF, Egale Canada

Quote from Skate Canada: “Skate Canada is proud to be a part of the LGBTQI2S Sport Inclusion Task Force and to pilot this important program. Working with SITF to develop training to make our sport even more welcoming to the LGBTQI2S community helps advance our vison of inspiring all Canadians to embrace the joy of skating.” – Debra Armstrong, CEO, Skate Canada

About the SITF: The LGBTQI2S Sport Inclusion Task Force (SITF) is a flexible, informal coalition working to end LGBTQI2S bias in sport through education for and promotion of LGBTQI2S inclusion in Canadian sport. For further information about the SITF, please contact Christine Hsu at Egale Canada at chsu@egale.ca.

About Skate Canada: Skate Canada is the nation’s governing body for competitive figure skating and is dedicated to creating a nation of skaters, both recreationally and competitively. One hundred thirty years old, Skate Canada is the world’s oldest skating organization and Canada’s preeminent leader in skating instruction and education. Over 170,000 Canadians participate in Skate Canada educational programs each year, including our flagship CanSkate program that teaches beginners of every age the basic skills of skating and fundamental movements.
As one of Canada’s most successful sport governing bodies, Skate Canada athletes have won 25 Olympic medals and 36 world championship titles. Today’s Canadian world and Olympic medallists all began at one of our 1,200 local Skate Canada clubs or skating schools. Through our programs, more than 5,500 certified professional coaches encourage Canadians of all ages to skate together as a family, pursue competitive ice sports and enjoy an active lifestyle.