On Sunday we had the privilege of celebrating Pride as we hosted our fourth-annual game dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community.

For the game we stood with our friends, our teammates, our families and fans, and we showed our solidarity with them. Playing hockey is so much more than the X’s and O’s, so much more than just practicing and playing.

Hockey is about embracing sports and the relationships that are built. It is being a part of a team — and by extension a community. It is about recognizing those who have paved the way and those who will follow us.

There is a great responsibility for commitment to the greater good, and to be a part of the change that we all want to see and share.

We are privileged to be a part of the Miami University community where we emphasize critical thinking and independent thought. We appreciate diverse views and own a sense of responsibility to our global future – words right out of our mission statement. We embrace these concepts fully.

If we were to only come here to Miami and play hockey and graduate, the experience would not be as fulfilling, engaging and complete.

Through engaging with others and expanding our own minds and hearts, we develop. And while our own personal growth is crucial to our own contributions to a society in which we live, sharing that with others increases exponentially the impact it has in the world in which we live.

By celebrating Pride through events like the Miami field hockey team did Sunday, we can continue to support the work done by our friends across the globe who are making a huge difference every day. W

We learn from each other, and we celebrate that growth by being very open and clear in our commitment to embracing a diverse set of communities.

We wore our Pride shirts before the game, a clear message that we show love and honor others every day. We hosted a panel discussion last week in which three athletes shared their stories, helping continue a dialogue that will only grow. We applaud the people of Outsports, You Can Play, the London Royals Hockey Club and Pink Hockey, who are all amazing examples of the power of sport and the embracing of the LGBTQ+ communities that are already incredibly interwoven into the fabric of athletics.

We were so proud to welcome our partners in Spectrum and PFLAG at Sunday’s game, recognizing the people right here in our own immediate community who make a difference with what they do every single day of their lives. It is an honor to celebrate them.

Our lives are enriched through the experiences we embrace, through our own growth and our time outside our comfort zone in which we strive to be better every day – on the field, in the classroom, in our relationships.

On Sunday we strove to develop our relationships with the members of the LGBTQ+ community. Our hope is that we continue to reach one more person — share one more story — because as we have learned one person can make a difference.

We learn from each other, and we celebrate that growth by being very open and clear in our commitment to embracing a diverse set of communities.

Miami University is an amazing institution that promotes that growth, and we can thank them by sharing what platforms we have on days like today.

Chip Rogers is an assistant coach with the Miami field hockey team. He came out publicly in 2016 in an article for Outsports about the team’s first Pride Day. You can follow him on Twitter @chiprogers18.

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