RENTON, Wash. (June 1, 2021) – The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) announced on Tuesday, the launch of its newly released gender diverse inclusivity toolkit for leaders who interact with youth athletes across the state.
GENDER-DIVERSE INCLUSIVITY TOOLKIT
Designed in partnership with Gender Diversity, a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the wide range of gender diversity, the free, digital toolkit is available for all youth coaches, K-12 teachers and administrators and parents in Washington State. As the presence of gender diverse students increases on athletic teams and in classes and other activities, continued efforts toward inclusive practices and education are vital in the creation of an equitable playing field. The toolkit has been produced to address the national dialogue around transgender and nonbinary students, teaching best practices and providing resources to assist in the development of supportive and non-discriminatory environments for young people.
All of Seattle’s major league professional sports teams – OL Reign, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC and Seattle Storm – have come together to show support for the
toolkit and collectively encourage fans to share it with youth sports teams, leagues, coaches, parents and administrators in an effort to make Washington State the most inclusive place for youth sports
participation in the country.
"By providing an inclusive toolkit, coaches and administrators can take confident, educated steps towards creating the most safe and welcoming environment for all youth who are interested in participating in any sport at any level,” said WIAA Executive Director Mick Hoffman. “The support and amplification of this resource from the Seattle pro sports community is essential in its impact and ensures that Washington state, as a whole, continues to be an inclusive place for all to play."
In partnership with Aidan Key, Director of Gender Diversity, the WIAA was the first state activities association to enact policy regarding transgender sport and activity participation. Successful policy and practices supporting the participation of all students, regardless of how they identify, was developed in 2007 by the WIAA office and written into the handbook for the 2007-2008 school year. The WIAA assessed and improved its Gender Identity Participation philosophy and eligibility rules in 2019 and continues to stand as one of 16 state athletic associations with fully inclusive policies that help facilitate the full participation of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students in high school athletics.
As part of supporting the toolkit, each organization has helped create a public service announcement that will be shared on club platforms and used statewide by WIAA. The PSA can be downloaded for media use here and features the following representatives: Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC midfielder), Mick Hoffman (WIAA Executive Director), Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm guard), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm guard), Karen Wilkins-Mickey (Seattle Seahawks, VP of Diversity Equity and Inclusion), Quinn (OL Reign midfielder), Mitch Haniger (Seattle Mariners right fielder), Scott Servais (Seattle Mariners Manager) and Dave Hunter (Seattle Kraken Pro Scout).