Small request makes big difference for LGBTQ families

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka family

Famous LGBTQ families include (from left to right): David Burtka, son Gideon Scott, twin sister Harper Grace, and Neil Patrick Harris.

It started off as a simple administrative request.

For the future, please would you change the [registration] form for all families? Right now the form asks for a mother’s name and a father’s name [….] It’s important that it says ‘Parent’ to include all families, such as those with two moms and those with two dads.

As soon as we received this customer’s email, making the change was immediately accepted as a given (they’ll be available online before end of June). But  there was an opportunity to do more.

Since Sportball was founded 20 years ago, our company mission has always been to make a difference in the lives of children in the most inclusive way possible. We are proud to have built so many strong relationships with colleagues and parents who come from diverse backgrounds, including the LGBTQ community. We understand that little things like adjusting our forms are just a fraction of the everyday reality that their families face in their lives.

According to Statistics Canada’s most recent data, nearly 10% of Canadian families come from LGBTQ households more than a decade after same-sex marriage was legalized. In the United States, there are 6 million adults and children with an LGBTQ parent.  Despite these signs of progress, LGBTQ youth still face harassment and bullying, which have been proven to negatively impact their long-term health and development.

As part of our commitment to children’s health and physical literacy, Sportball continues to provide non-competitive, skills-based sports programs in a supportive and inclusive environment for all families at over 500 locations in North America.

In the spirit of LGBTQ Pride Month and the festivities worldwide, we are also proud to introduce the launch of H.A.P.P.Y., which stands for Healthy Active Play Program for Youth. Aimed at elementary school students from Grades 1 to 5, this anti-bullying program helps kids learn how to play positively and encourages inclusiveness in games and activities. Available in select areas, our trained, certified Coaches introduce children to three key concepts of inclusion: Rights, Respect and Responsibility.

It’s remarkable how the tiniest changes make the biggest impact in our programs. Saying, “We did it!” at the end of a game can teach kids the value of teamwork rather than shouting, “I won!” Our choice of words and actions have the power to create a safer, more accepting place for LGBTQ youth and their families.  And when faced with the ability to give children a loving and supportive home, nothing else could be simpler than that.

To learn more about our school programs or free trial classes, please click here to contact your local Sportball office in Canada or click here to find a local Sportball office in the United States.

20 June 2014 by