UCLA Women’s Soccer Joins BTS Tour of Champions

by Admin

  • Posted on July 14, 2014

  • News

Speaking out for Inclusion in Sport

UCLA Women's Soccer

Press Release for Immediate Distribution 7/14/2014

NEW YORK, NY- Several months ago UCLA junior, Kodi Lavrusky scored the game-winning goal against Florida State in the NCAA National Championship to give UCLA women’s soccer the programs first national title. Today, Lavrusky and her teammates, Zoey Goralski and Claire Winter, are using their voices to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion in women’s college sports.

“No matter how you live your life, sports should be an open and safe space for everyone,” says Goralski.

UCLA women’s soccer is the second program to join Br{ache the Silence Tour of Champions which targets national champions in women’s college sports, inviting student-athletes to create a video on the importance of ensuring all members of the athletic community feel valued and respected, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. Last fall, University of Connecticut women’s basketball released a groundbreaking video for Tour of Champions. Watch the videos and follow the Tour at btstourofchampions.org.

“We are extremely proud of UCLA, UConn and all of the champions who are using their platform to shift consciousness within the community. These institutions are champion caliber programs for a reason,” says Nevin Caple, Co-founder and Executive Director of Br{ache the Silence.

“When student-athletes and coaches feel supported, they perform better. Our goal for Tour of Champions is to uplift the voices of young women, create inclusive systems, and give youth a collective of LGBT and ally role models to aspire to be like – knowing they too can be out and an elite college athlete or coach.”

Currently, out of approximately 310 NCAA Division I women’s college soccer programs, less than a handful of coaches feel supported enough to publicly self-identify as LGBT.
Although BTS has a long road ahead to get women’s college sports to where it needs to be for LGBT coaches and student-athletes, Lavrusky, Goralski and Winter are making an impact on and off the field. Adds Goralski,

“Every team needs an accepting environment, and Br{ache the Silence definitely spreads this belief.”

About Br{ache the Silence:
Br{ache the Silence is a non-profit sports advocacy organization founded to address homophobia in women’s sports through education and public awareness initiatives. BTS facilitates inclusion trainings, workshops, panels and programming for student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators throughout the country. McClure Images, a visual arts firm capturing stories in and around sports through graphic and web design, photography, and film, is the creative partner of BTS Tour of Champions. If you would like to support the work of Br{ache the Silence, please contribute to our campaign here: igg.me/at/btscampaign

Colleen McCaffrey, Communications Director, colleen@freedomsounds.org, @BTScampaign
Nevin Caple, Executive Director, nevin@freedomsounds.org, @NevinCaple
Mollie McClure, mcclureimages.com

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