You Can Play - Sir James Dunn Academy

The crest of Sir James Dunn Academy reads, in Latin, “No success without labour,” and the school’s work on the You Can Play project has paid off in a big way. The St. Andrews, New Brunswick school has set a bar for schools across Canada.

From the school’s statement: “Our mission at Sir James Dunn Academy is ‘to ensure that all become lifelong learners in a safe and inviting environment.’ An inclusive education at our school means that regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or religious faith, you will be treated with respect and provided equal opportunities to be successful.

We decided that if we wanted to effectively promote this initiative, we would use a “family” mentality to open up the minds of students, staff and community members. At every practice, game, production, activity or school assembly, we took the opportunity to make this “family” work.

Through team sports and other activities, our students learn to believe in one another, become great teammates and realize that a team is not about winning. A team provides opportunity to develop skills, build self-esteem and confidence. To carry this further, we extend the “you can play” motto to participation in all other activities available at school.

Students planned and recorded this video over a three month period. The Director (Liz Matheson, GSA Leader, Co-Glad Class President and member of senior soccer and basketball teams), members of our grade 12 leadership class, middle school/high school athletes, GSA members, student council members, culinary/drama students and administration/staff all worked together to ensure the success of the project. At SJDA, no matter who you are, we want you on our sports teams and in our other activities. At our school, who you are matters. Having students who appreciate themselves and their peers, everyone wins. If you can play, you can play.”

Everyone at You Can Play is grateful to the students, faculty for their work on behalf of You Can Play and proud of the work they do supporting each other.
































You Can Play - Denver Nuggets, East High School

The Denver Nuggets become the first team in the NBA to have multiple players voice support for LGBT athletes and fans as part of the You Can Play Project.

Forwards Kenneth Faried and Quincy Miller are joined by guard Randy Foye, and the student-athletes of Denver’s East High School, in promoting diversity and inclusion.

Faried was selected by the Nuggets in the 2011 NBA draft and named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Team. He has been a vocal supporter of equality, speaking up during the campaign for civil unions in Colorado.

Foye was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 2006 draft. The Villanova University alumnus was an all-American there and a Wooden Award finalist.

Miller was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year while playing at Baylor University. He was selected by the Nuggets in the 2012 Draft.

Faried, Foye and Miller appear in the video with the East High Angels as part of the Colorado State High School Activities Association’s “You Can Play, Colorado!” initiative and Positive Leadership campaign. The initiative promotes inclusion and diversity in the state’s high school locker rooms and all student activities.

You Can Play - Gabriel Landeskog, Mountain Vista, Regis Jesuit

Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, along with players from Mountain Vista High School (Highlands Ranch, CO) and Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora, CO) join the You Can Play team in promoting diversity and inclusion for all, including LGBT athletes and fans.

Drafted second overall by the Avalanche in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Gabe is a left-winger from Stockholm, Sweden – and named to the Swedish Olympic hockey team this week.  At 19, Landeskog became the youngest captain in NHL history. In 2011-12, Landeskog broke the Avs’ franchise record for shots on goal by a rookie and won the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy for rookie of the year.

Landeskog and the Mountain Vista and Regis Jesuit teams shot the You Can Play video as part of the Colorado High School Activities Association’s “You Can Play, Colorado!” project, promoting positive leadership across the state’s sports and student activities program.

The video also represents a milestone for You Can Play and professional sports.  With Landeskog representing the Colorado Avalanche, every team in the National Hockey League has now been represented by a player voicing support LGBT athletes and fans – the first time in sports history an entire major sports league has shown support for an LGBT-specific effort.


































































































































You Can Play - Williston Northampton School

The Wildcats of the Williston Northampton School have always accepted challenges. When educator Pat Griffin spoke to the school’s Sports Studies class about the importance of engaging straight allies in a cause LGBT inclusion, she challenged Williston’s students to embrace diversity and state it by making a You Can Play video.

After class, three of teacher Diane Williams’ students said they wanted to make a video. Danny Gould, Eric Yarrows, and JF Boucher, all senior boys involved in athletics, were fired up and ready to go, Williams says. The student athletes took it a step further and created/facilitated a workshop on creating safer sports opportunities for all athletes through words and action. Rutherford reports that the workshop, for twenty peers, was met with rave reviews. Music teacher Ben Demerath, physics teacher Paul Rutherford and history teacher Diane Williams assisted in creating a groundbreaking video featuring Williston’s student-athletes, administrators and coaches.

The school, in Easthampton, Massachusetts, sets a standard for participation in the inclusion and acceptance of all athletes. From the bottom of the pool to clearing a great high jump, and with a heartfelt “If you can smash, you can smash,” the Wildcats are looking for a “best version of you.”