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Eliminating Barriers In Sport

Students in Chatham-Kent are the first to sign up when it comes to eliminating homophobia and transphobia in sports.

Local organizers along with representative from the Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity will be holding workshops to address the issues LGBTQ athletes face.

“They might not feel welcomed in dressing rooms that are traditionally one gender areas or coaches might use terms like ‘you’re playing like a bunch of girls’ or ‘man up,'” says Ian Kennedy, a teacher at Chatham-Kent Secondary School. “We need to remember that it’s a game where kids are trying to be active and it should be safe for everybody.”

In an attempt to educate as many people as possible, several workshops will be held — three for students and one for the community.

Kennedy says the student sessions sold out quickly with a good mix of kids ranging from Grades 9 to 12.

“They’re interested in becoming educated, they’re interested in social justice, and they’re interested in helping their fellow students,” says Kennedy. “They don’t look so much at gender or sexual orientation, they just nowadays are looking at people.”

About 50 students are signed up for each of the workshops, but Kennedy says registration for the community workshop is a little slow.

The free community workshop will be held Friday night at 6pm-8pm, at the Chatham’s W.I.S.H. Centre.