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Equity Diversity Inclusion

Gender Pronouns Pins Promote Inclusivity at the Arctic Winter Games

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Coaches representing the Table Tennis and Hockey teams at the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife are making a powerful statement by proudly wearing gender pronouns pins on their uniforms. The pins, which display preferred gender pronouns such as “he/him,” “she/her,” or “they/them,” serve as a visible symbol of inclusivity and a commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for all athletes and participants.

“It’s so great to see the pin on our coaches’ uniforms,” we hear back from some of the participants. “They are role modeling inclusivity and opening up the barriers for identifying. It’s a small gesture that carries a big message of acceptance and respect for individuals of all gender identities.”

The gender pronouns pins have become a meaningful and impactful addition to the coaches’ uniforms, sparking conversations and raising awareness about the importance of recognizing and honoring individuals’ gender identities. By wearing these pins, the coaches are sending a clear message of support and solidarity.

The initiative to introduce gender pronouns pins at the Arctic Winter Games reflects a broader commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in sports. By acknowledging and affirming individuals’ gender identities, the coaches are helping to create a more inclusive and affirming environment where all participants feel valued, respected, and accepted for who they are.

To learn more about the significance of the gender pronouns pins and the impact they are making at the Arctic Winter Games, visit HERE. Join us in celebrating and promoting inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance in sports, one pin at a time.

GenderPronounsPins #Inclusivity #ArcticWinterGames #RoleModeling #DiversityandInclusion #Acceptance #Respect

Featured in Canadian Women & Sport newsletter

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Table Tennis North and Hockey Northwest Territories (NWT) are making waves in the world of sports by leading the charge for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Their innovative initiatives have caught the attention of Canadian Women & Sport, shining a spotlight on their efforts to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all athletes and participants.

In a recent feature in the Canadian Women & Sport newsletter, Table Tennis North and Hockey NWT were highlighted for their commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in sport. One of the standout initiatives mentioned was the development of Pronoun Pins by Hockey NWT in 2022, a creative way to foster inclusivity and acceptance within the sporting community.

At both the 2023 Arctic Winter Games and Canada Winter Games, coaches from Hockey NWT proudly wore Pronoun Pins, sending a powerful message of inclusivity and respect for all individuals. Inspired by this impactful gesture, Hockey NWT used their $1,000 honorarium from the Same Game Challenge to collaborate with Table Tennis North and establish an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee in December 2023.

Thorsten Gohl, a member of the EDI Committee, shared, “Coaches at both Hockey NWT and Table Tennis North will wear Pronoun Pins at the upcoming 2024 Arctic Winter Games. We ask them to be role models, showcase the importance of inclusion, and make everyone within the team and others welcome to the sports they represent.”

The 2024 Arctic Winter Games, set to take place in Mat-Su Borough, Alaska from March 10-16, will serve as a platform for these organizations to demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in sport. Through their actions and initiatives, Table Tennis North and Hockey NWT are setting a powerful example for the sporting community, emphasizing the importance of creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all participants.

As we look ahead to the 2024 Arctic Winter Games, let us celebrate the efforts of Table Tennis North and Hockey NWT in championing diversity and inclusion in sport. Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to participate and excel.

#TableTennisNorth #HockeyNWT #DiversityandInclusion #ArcticWinterGames

Promoting Inclusive Language and Gender Pronouns at the 2024 Arctic Winter Games

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In a proactive move towards fostering inclusivity and creating a safe and welcoming environment for all participants, we are proud to announce our commitment to using inclusive language in all our communications. Recognizing that pronouns are an integral part of someone’s gender expression and identity, we understand the importance of respecting and acknowledging individuals for who they authentically are.

As coaches, mentors, and role models, the language we use and the questions we ask play a significant role in shaping the experiences of those in our programs. We believe that by embracing inclusive language practices, we can enhance the quality of interactions and create a more supportive and inclusive sport environment for all.

In line with our commitment to inclusivity, our coaches at the 2024 Arctic Winter Games will be wearing specially crafted Gender Pronouns pins. These unique pins feature pronouns burned into wood sourced from birch trees native to the Northwest Territories, symbolizing our connection to the region and our dedication to promoting inclusivity in sport. The birch wood used in the pins has been carefully dried for two years, reflecting the time and care invested in creating these meaningful symbols of respect and acceptance.

This initiative is just one of the many steps we are taking towards fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity in sport. By wearing these Gender Pronouns pins, our coaches aim to show their support for gender diversity and create a more inclusive and affirming space for all participants at the Arctic Winter Games.

We invite all participants, supporters, and stakeholders to join us in championing inclusivity and celebrating the diversity that enriches our sporting community. Together, let us continue to strive for a more inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to be their authentic selves.

Join us in this important journey towards inclusion in sport, and let’s make the 2024 Arctic Winter Games a truly inclusive and affirming experience for all. Together, we can create positive change and build a more inclusive future for sports and beyond.

Embracing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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Our coaches deliver a powerful message through their actions. Wearing ‘Every Child Matters’ and Gender Pronouns pins, we create an inclusive environment where language becomes a tool for acceptance. Let’s honor everyone’s authentic selves and foster a culture of respect and understanding.

Language is a powerful tool for communicating inclusivity in sport. Language is not neutral. It is closely tied to the culture and society in which it is used. Sport is not an equal playing field, it is a sex-segregated world, where not everyone belongs and is welcomed. Sport is however, one of the most powerful platforms for promoting equality and empowering all who participate. One of the ways we can start moving towards equality in sport is with the language we use.

Gender pronouns (he/she/they/ze etc.) specifically refer to the person you are referring to. Pronouns are a part of someone’s gender expression and send the message to others of who they authentically are and how they feel about themselves.

Many non-binary people feel left out of society and often have their pronouns ignored, misused, or discounted.  Non-binary or genderqueer are umbrella terms for gender identities that are neither male or female, boy or girl. 

Below are a few links that can help you practice using other pronouns:

Safe and Helpful Hints:

  • Don’t guess – Ask. It is acceptable to ask someone what pronoun they use.
  • Use singular “they/them/theirs” for a person until you have the opportunity to ask about their pronouns.
  • You can also use their name until you learn their pronouns.
  • If you have trouble remembering someone’s pronoun, it is okay to ask for a reminder.
  • If you misuse someone’s pronouns, acknowledge that you have done that and move on.  The best way to show that you care is to try to use the correct pronoun.

Tips for programs and practices:

  • Offer a non-binary gender option for membership registration.
  • Update registration forms, and online forms, to include the gender pronouns that individuals use.
  • Avoid referring to a group or team with “hey guys” or “hey girls”. Use gender neutral language like ‘hey team’ or “hey everyone”.
  • Start sharing your pronouns to normalize the behavior of not making assumptions about gender identity. You can start by adding your pronouns to your email signature.

It may take some getting used to. You may feel awkward at times. Correctly using someone’s pronouns allows the person to feel seen and included-and that’s powerful. Ultimately, using gender-neutral pronouns when referring to a group or person, or about a group or person, doesn’t require too much effort on your part. It will make a huge difference in creating a warmer, more inclusive sport environment for everyone.

Coming together for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

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Hockey NWT and Table Tennis North have taken a significant step towards fostering a more inclusive and diverse sporting environment by coming together to form a joint committee focused on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI). 

This collaborative initiative is a testament to their commitment to ensuring that all participants, regardless of their background, feel welcomed, respected, and valued. The committee aims to promote equal opportunities, celebrate diversity, and foster an inclusive culture within both sports. By working together, Hockey NWT and Table Tennis North are setting a precedent for other sporting organizations, demonstrating that unity and collaboration are key to achieving progress in EDI. This joint committee is not just about policy-making, but also about creating a positive change in the sporting community, where everyone can thrive and enjoy the sports they love.

Committee Member Shakita Jensen (she/her), “What I am most excited for is being part of an initiative that aims to diminish barriers and celebrate diversity, making sport a safe and enjoyable environment for all.”

The committee is committed to foster an inclusive and diverse environment within the organizations. It was created for the benefit of all and aims to have representation across the entirety of the NWT. You will see our members at the Arctic Winter Games trials this week, so if you see them say “Hi” to Thorsten, Beverly and Shakita. 

We are always open to welcoming more members who share our values and are passionate about promoting equity and diversity in sports. If you would like to learn more or get involved, please send an email to media@hockeynorth.ca or info@tabletennisnorth.ca. Our committee is proud of the diversity we have already achieved and will continue to work towards creating an inclusive space for all.

Play To Lead Summit

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Two young female NWT athletes, Raine Mingo and Emma Carey,  had the opportunity to attend the Play to Lead Summit in Edmonton over the weekend. 

The Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation’s Play to Lead initiative is making a significant impact by empowering young women to develop leadership skills and promoting gender equality and diversity in sports.

Both athletes were able to take part in sessions that helped develop their leadership skills while building lasting relationships with like-minded peers.  When asking Raine to reflect on the summit, she said “I had an incredible time at the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities Play to Lead Summit in Edmonton.  I’ve learned lots of new things and ways to bring back the sense of confidence and inclusion in the female athlete world.” Raine is appreciative of the valuable knowledge and strategies she gained at the conference, emphasizing the importance of confidence and inclusion for female athletes. This demonstrates the impact that Play to Lead has on participants’ understanding and ability to create positive change in the sports community.

Additionally, Emma was thankful for the personal growth and motivation she gained from the workshops.  ” All the workshops provided valuable lessons and motivation, benefiting my personal growth as both an individual, athlete and coach.  It is my wish to enhance my own abilities and empower young female athletes to pursue their passion for sports and promote gender equality and diversity in sports in the NWT”. It is heartening to see that Emma aspires not only to enhance her own abilities but also to empower other young female athletes in the North to pursue their passions and advocate for gender equity and diversity in sports.

The Play to Lead Summit not only offers valuable lessons and motivation but also encourages athletes to become change agents in their communities. By equipping young women with the tools they need to be leaders, Play to Lead is fostering a more inclusive and equitable sports environment.

Beverly’s journey at the Play to Lead Summit

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✨ Beverly’s journey at the Play to Lead Summit was nothing short of inspiring! 🌟 She had the incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and share her passion for empowering female youth. 💪🏼✨ Witnessing the transformative power of mentorship and leadership, Beverly is determined to break barriers and create a brighter future for the next generation of strong, confident women. 🌸👩‍👧 Let’s join hands and uplift our girls, because when they thrive, we all thrive! 🌟💫 #PlayToLeadSummit #EmpoweringFemaleYouth #BreakingBarriers #BrighterFuture #weareallteamnt

Play to Lead

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Play to Lead enables young women to develop the skills, confidence and relationships to become leaders, while improving gender equity and diversity in sport. The hybrid program unites a group of female athletes and their coaches, empowering them to reach their full potential and fostering a powerful network of girls in sport in Canada.

Jumpstart is launching the second year of the Play to Lead program. During the Summits, athletes will have the opportunity to network, develop leadership skills, and form friendships. After the Summits, the program will continue online, with athletes participating in regular virtual sessions and completing assignments to support their learning. Coaches will mentor the athletes, helping them apply their learnings during practices and games.

Participants from the Northwest Territories will be:

Emma Carey
Raine Mingo

Mentors: Beverly Pilgrim, Thorsten Gohl

“I feel honoured to be playing even a small part in empowering our young female NWT athletes to become role models and leaders within their sport. Through the Play to Lead conference, I am looking forward to networking with other sports leaders and gaining knowledge and tools as to how I can continue to guide these young women to be the best version of themselves. Not only as athletes but also as women in everyday life. By empowering these girls we are giving them a say in what they need, and allowing them to help mold and create a better future for themselves and those behind them. I believe that you can only be what you can see in this world, and I want to help create an environment where these young women can see dynamic women in every aspect of their sport.” – Beverly Pilgrim, supporting the youth and mentoring them throughout the project.

More information on the Play to Lead project can be found on the Jumpstart website.

Jumpstart Play To Lead Summit | Class of 2022-2023

Same Game Challenge

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Table Tennis North is excited to be part of the “Same Game Challenge” with Canadian Women & Sport and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.

Canadian Women & Sport and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities (Jumpstart) are proud to announce the 49 sport and recreation organizations participating in the second cohort of the Same Game Challenge, taking place from July 2023 to January 2024.  

Through the Same Game Challenge, we will build competencies and develop the skills that we need to close gender equity gaps and create positive, sustainable change in sport. The program will provide us with learning opportunities, mentorship, action planning and collaboration through a range of tools, including: 

  • An online gender equity journey that includes creating a gender equity vision, implementing activities and so much more.  
  • 1:1 coaching and mentorship on how to embed gender equity into their organizational strategies, process and programs.  
  • Access to free licenses of the Gender Equity LENS e-learning module for organizational leaders.  
  • A $1,000 honorarium to support organizational gender equity activities. 
  • Connection with a community of participants made up of diverse people and organizations from across Canada.  

We are looking forward to being part of this amazing program!!!

PRIDE – 2023 Canada Games

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We recognize and celebrate the unique opportunities that sport provides in uniting people to a common goal. We embrace the essential value of belonging as essential for individual success, team success and sport excellence.

Using education and promotions as tools to promote, inspire and highlight the very important value that there is a place for you in sports. Table Tennis North strives to empower all members and volunteers (from the home to competition arena and everything and everyone in between) to understand and embrace the language of inclusion. Through partnership in communities and with Table Tennis North, we want to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports – including 2SLGBTQI athletes, coaches and fans.

Campaign Promotion

  1. Athlete Ambassadors / Influencers
    a) Education – Athletes, coaches and parents are invited to a short presentation on pronouns and the ASK ME MY PRONOUNS pins. Athletes are encouraged to wear and share their pins.
    b) Athletes take over Social Media- Table Tennis North supports and encourages athletes to share the games experience through their own eyes.
  2. Pride Day at the Games – Wednesdays.
    a) Arctic Winter Games | Feb 1
    b) Canada Games | Feb 22
    c) Join us as athletes celebrate PRIDE. Watch as social media gets taken over
  3. Email Signatures
    Example: THORSTEN GOHL, Executive Director (he/him/il/lui)
    c: (867) 373-2101 | e: thor@tabletennisnorth.ca | w: http://www.tabletennisnorth.ca
  4. Meeting Etiquette
    a) Inclusive Introductions
    b) Land Acknowledgment

Table Tennis North strives to create a diverse, inclusive community in which everyone feels safe, respected and valued—regardless of any aspect of one’s identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, ability or age.

Central to our commitment is a sustained effort to increase participation from historically underrepresented groups.

weareallteamnt #everychildmatters #pride


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