This is an exciting time for girls and women in Canadian sport.
With a recently announced $3-million investment from the federal government, put forward by MP Kirsty Duncan, our country has set itself the goal of achieving gender equity in sport by 2035. That’s 16 years from today, and according to Sport for Life’s Carolyn Trono, the change can’t come soon enough.
“I likely won’t be around then but it is always interesting to think of what opportunities could and should be available to girls and women for leadership and participation in sport and physical activity,” said Trono, Director of Quality Sport Development and part of Minister Duncan’s Workgroup on Gender Equity in Sport.
“The girls who are six years old now will be 22 in 2035. The time is now to provide environments that contribute to girls falling in love with sport and physical activity. And while we must continue to invest in older girls, young women and older women, let’s not forget girls start their sport experience in their community.”
Sport for Life believes girls need the following things to have a quality sport and physical activity experiences.
- Opportunities and environments to develop physical literacy.
- Access to sample and participate in multisport.
- Coaches who are qualified and are able to ensure a girl-friendly environment.
- Equitable access to quality equipment, facilities and programs as well as a gender-appropriate culture.
“The power of the role model cannot be underestimated. At the community level, I would love to see more moms coaching and more women on Boards advocating for girls in sport,” said Trono.
“It is always refreshing to see young girls playing sport and pretending to be a famous athlete—Serena Williams, Hayley Wickenheiser, Brigette Lacquette, Beckie Scott, Rosie MacLennan, Christine Sinclair, Desiree Scott, Bianca Andreescu, etc. Every sport needs to promote their female role models to their developing female athletes. Fortunately, in Canada we have many successful female athletes.”
Trono said, “One of the great things about this workgroup was that everyone was impatient, meaning action and implementation was at the forefront of the conversations. And we see this now with the injection of funding to move forward”.
Trono is thrilled to see women in leadership roles advocating for these opportunities across the country, at all levels of the sport system.
“We’re poised to make a real difference,” she said.