Section: News

Kenyon community celebrates first Athletics Pride Week

Kenyon’s first-ever Athletics Pride Week, a week-long celebration of LGBTQ+ athletes and allies, took place from Oct. 21 to Oct. 28. The week featured an array of home games such as field hockey, football and men and women’s soccer, along with tabling and advertising throughout the week. The event was spearheaded by Kenyon College Athletes for Equality (KCAE), which distributed flyers at games on the importance of celebrating pride in athletics, organized half-time raffles for prizes from the bookstore and encouraged attendance at the games by tabling in Peirce Dining Hall. 

Prior to this year’s celebration, Kenyon had only held standalone pride games; consequently, the process for planning the festivities was extensive. KCAE, Kenyon Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Athletic Department all contributed to planning the week’s activities and advertisements. Director of Athletics, Fitness and Recreation Jill McCartney and Head Field Hockey Coach and advisor of Athletes for Equality Morgan Brozena were also integral to the planning.

President of KCAE Bela Krslovic ’24 explained that planning began in September, when KCAE began the search for a week with several home games scheduled. Krslovic explained the importance of having the teams play at home in order for the week to be celebrated as a community. “We could make it like one cohesive Pride Week that each team celebrated and Kenyon fans could have access to and go to,” she said in an interview with the Collegian. “It would have been hard if teams were playing away games to kind [of] get all that organized.”

In addition to having a string of pride games at home, KenyonFit also held events and promotions related to Athletics Pride Week. Students attending mind–body and fitness classes were encouraged to wear rainbow clothes in support of the week. Each participant also left with a pride sticker and had the opportunity to take pictures at the Lowry Center room 221’s pride-themed photo wall.  

Krslovic explained the main goal of the week was to have every team involved, especially the men’s teams who had never had a Pride Game before. “And we did. We got every male team that plays in the fall to participate,” Krslovic added. 

While athletes were able to participate by playing in the Pride games, nonathletes also had a role in the week. Students usually uninvolved with athletics interacted and showed interest at the Peirce tables. “I think that we overall saw a diverse portion of the student body come out [to the games], which was nice,” Krslovic said of the games’ attendance. “I feel like there was a different atmosphere, a more fun atmosphere,” she added, given all the new participants. 

 One of KCAE’s main goals is to “build a community of LGBTQ+ athletes and allies,” Krslovic explained. An environment where people do not have to be a part of the community to celebrate with each other. One of the other “goals [of Pride Week] was just to make everyone feel like there was this one big, supportive community … And I think that that was really felt throughout the Pride Week,” Krslovic added.

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