Inside the Show Your Sport Campaign

11087805_867130086659109_1707920749164753402_o By Billie Kanfer '16, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Covering walls and bulletin boards across campus, “Show Your Sport” posters reflect a campaign initiated by Clare Kenny ’15. A member of the volleyball team, Clare came up with the idea after taking a sociology class in the Fall. As a class assignment she was asked to write a paper or create a project that was a “call to action.” She chose the latter. Clare has wanted to do this project for four years and felt that this was the perfect way to “interact with the athletic community and an identity based issue.” Clare notes that “athletics deals with a lot of stigma. I wanted to work on a campaign that showed how athletes are positive, well-rounded, solid people in our community.” Although there are movements across campus for a conscious effort to increase LGBTQ awareness—Clare felt that there were no support groups for queer athletes. Clare came up with the concept of a poster campaign. She asked Aria Goodman ’15 for her help in cultivating a poster that showcased various athletes and highlighted a call to action for queer athletes and allies. They played around with the idea of the word “support”. Finding the word “sport” within the word they went forth with the title, “Show Your Sport.” In a matter of three days during finals week last semester, Clare and Aria photographed volunteer athletes from their volleyball team and created the posters. As members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, they approached fellow student athletes with the campaign idea. They received a lot of positive feedback and after announcing their idea they gathered 22 athletes from five different Skidmore teams to participate in the next round of posters. Aria applauded student athletes saying that being on a team “requires so much commitment and dedication to what you’re involved with.” The volunteer-based campaign gained a lot of attention as fellow students on sports teams were featured on these posters around campus. The campaign doesn’t solely involve getting your picture taken. Clare decided that along with being photographed the students would have hour-long educational info sessions in which they will discuss LGBTQ issues, ally-ship, and the overall importance of abolishing homophobia. Clare and Aria said that one cannot just assume that a sports team is an anti-homophobic environment, “it’s important to create strong and visible ally-ship on teams.” Clare proceeded to say that one of the biggest factors in pursuing this campaign is “just knowing that we have athletes that are willing to come out and athletes that say they are allies.” Aria followed up by agreeing and adding that they want student athletes who “foster a welcoming community of everyone in their sexuality. [The campaign] visually represents a community of welcoming athletes.” Clare and Aria are so grateful to the athletes who have volunteered their time to attend the info session and become a part of this campaign. SAAC has officially adopted “Show Your Sport” as an annual campaign. Aria and Clare have realized how many passionate, reliable student athletes are at Skidmore who do care about more causes past athletics. Clare went on to say that “we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think it was necessary. We wouldn’t have an anti-homophobia campaign if we didn't think that a homophobic environment existed. We couldn’t do it without the athletic community.” Aria nodded along and then concluded, “this is the time to push forward.” Both Clare and Aria have worked tirelessly this entire year to watch their campaign come to fruition. They are currently working on the last round of posters. Most of the sports teams on campus have reached out to participate and help be allies in this fight against homophobia. Stay alert for these eye-catching posters, and make sure to check out their Facebook page in the meantime.

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