Calgary-Alta – After road trips to Montreal, Toronto and even overseas to Japan in the last few weeks, the Inferno welcome a break from travel in their home series this weekend against the Boston Blades. Since their last appearance at home they’ve maintained first place in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) with 34 points, two wins ahead of their next closest rival, Les Canadiannes de Montreal. Boston is currently in last place in the league with five points.
The game on Saturday, February 4th is a special one for the Inferno who are supporting You Can Play – standing up for the rights of all to play sports, with no discrimination to sexual orientation. The moto of the organization, if you have skill, if you have work ethic, if you can skate, pass, shoot, run, jump, hit, row or play – then you can play.
The event has been led by the Inferno’s Erica Kromm.
“When I was younger I knew of two things: that I was gay and that I loved hockey. The only one of those two I ever felt comfortable expressing was the latter,” remarked the veteran blue liner. “With our Inferno You Can Play game, I wanted to start a movement across Calgary so that kids going through something like that feel safe and accepted, especially while playing the sport(s) they love. We got SAIT, U of C, and Mount Royal student athletes involved and I think it’s had a powerful impact before the puck has even dropped for our YCP game. The Inferno YCP game is an opportunity for LGBTQ athletes/fans and allies to get together, spread the message and gain a better understanding.”
Special guests will include Anastasia Bucsis, Olympic Speed Skater and Eric Mitchell, Olympic Ski Jumper along with Kim Jones, the Vice President and General Council of Winsport who will speak on behalf of the You Can Play organization during intermission.
Additionally, there will be a take-a-stand booth to support You Can Play including special prizes and a special raffle of a sport package from WinSport for those who donate to help the organization with their mission. There will also be free rainbow eye black for the first 100 fans. Video with support from athletes of all backgrounds and sports, available on: https://www.facebook.com/events/1666362006994574/permalink/1673475852949856/
The organization got its start on the hard work of Brian Burke and his son Patrick Burke.
“We recently received an email from Emily who plays for Calgary Fire Bantam Elite. She has also arranged to have her game on the 4th in support of You Can Play. In her email she said, ‘I think that this message is so important because if you love the game then who you love shouldn’t matter.’ I couldn’t have said it better myself. This is why our YCP game is so important.”
Calgary Inferno players are available for media appearances leading up to the game.
The game Saturday night starts at 8:00 pm and the game Sunday morning at 8:30 am. Both at WinSport’s Arena A.
You can Play MISSION:
You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, and 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.