WORCESTER, MA – On Saturday, February 2, the Worcester Blades will host their annual You Can Play Night. It will be celebrated ahead of their matchup with the Markham Thunder at 8 p.m. at Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center.
You Can Play games aim to raise awareness for the You Can Play Project and the work they do for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Their mission statement reads as follows:
“You Can Play works to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports – including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.
You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.
You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.”
This year, the Blades are proud to host Worcester Pride, OUT Metrowest, and Safe Homes to the game.
Worcester Pride have been celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community for over 42 years. Information and history of the group can be found here, while those interested in participating in the 2019 Central MA Worcester Pride Parade can register here. Pride Week in Worcester is September 4-7 and will feature a pageant, parade, festival, youth dance, and an after party.
OUT Metrowest’s mission is “to build communities where LGBTQ+ youth can thrive.”
The organization has been running youth programs since 2011 and has served more than 1,000 youth as well as provided trainings for local schools and more. For more information about OUT MetroWest, visit their website or call 508-875-2122.
Safe Homes is a program supporting the LGBTQ community ages 14-23. Safe Homes is a program of Open Sky Community Services and is led by youth peer leaders, professional staff and volunteers.
Their mission and vision read as follows:
“Our goal in offering support to LGBTQ youth throughout Central Massachusetts is to decrease isolation and foster general health and well-being. Our mission is to provide safe and supportive services for LGBTQ youth so that they feel nurtured and validated in all aspects of their identity.
There is something for everyone at Safe Homes. Whether you are looking for advice, information, or new friends, we hope you will consider checking us out.”
More information on Safe Homes can be found here.
Prior to the game, Peter Bacchiocchi of Worcester Pride and Brigitte Manseau of OUT Metrowest will be dropping ceremonial pucks.
Tickets to You Can Play Night can be purchased online as well as at the door on game day.
Merisa Boyd is the Director of Communications for the Worcester Blades. All media requests and inquiries should be sent to [email protected]