To the editor:

As a high school student, I participated in sports for the same reasons other girls do.

For the pure love of it, for one thing — the joy and exhilaration of skiing or running cross-country.

But, like my teammates, I got so much more out of athletics. I learned about sportsmanship, about working hard as an individual and as a team. I learned to push myself, and how to lose and pick myself back up again. I learned discipline and resiliency, and how to make healthy choices.

I learned to rely on my team, and to have my team count on me to be the best version of myself.

As a girl who happens to be transgender, sports meant something else, too — they were life-saving. I wouldn’t be who I am today — a happy, healthy, UNH freshman — if it weren’t for those teams.

I was blessed with a supportive principal, athletic director, amazing coaches, and hard-working teammates on my cross-country, Nordic skiing and track teams during my four years of high school.

The support from other athletes and coaches — those on my team, and those athletes and coaches I competed against — have molded me into who I am today.

I hope other transgender girls are able to find the joy in sports like I did. Learning to work as a team and to believe in yourself is life-changing.

I hope our legislators will see how important sports are for all girls, and vote inexpedient to legislate on HB 1251.

Sarah Rose Huckman

West Ossipee

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