DURHAM, N.C. - Thanks to the leadership of seniors EJ Proctor and Rebecca Quinn and sophomore Mackenzie Coles, the Duke women's soccer program held their first ever Pride Game last Sunday against Pitt.
Spearheaded by the trio of Blue Devils, the game was aimed at developing an inclusive environment and lettting all know that Duke women's soccer and Duke athletics are supportive of all communities.
"As an athlete we have a platform there for us to have more of a voice than what we often realize," Proctor said. "So with having a Pride Game we are making sure fans are aware of what we stand for and what we believe in."
Proctor, Quinn and Coles, who all serve on the executive board of Duke's Athlete Ally chapter, worked with a number of entities, as well as the organization to help create and promote the match at Koskinen. Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization that “provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities” on more than 80 college campuses."
"Being an Ally is significantly important to me because I feel like for those who are apart of the LGBTQ+ community, I don't want them to feel like they are alone in all of this," Coles said. "I want them to feel like they have people who love them and support them."
Quinn, one of the Blue Devils' top players in the midfield, looks at the Pride Game as another opportunity "for people to be educated on issues that are faced in the community."
After years of working to make the game a reality, the Blue Devils were finally able to in 2017, joining the field hockey program which has already made a Pride Game an annual tradition. The women's rowing squad also has joined in on the effort and will hold a Pride Race this year, continuing the push to increase awareness and education of the issue of equality and make every environment one that is inclusive of all people.