Minister Guilbeault Congratulates E-Alliance on Launch of Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport

News release

GATINEAU, December 8, 2020

To create an environment where girls and women feel comfortable participating in sport at all ages and levels, it’s important to understand why they are discouraged from participating in sport or moving into the senior coaching, management or leadership ranks in the first place.

Recognizing that girls and women still face barriers in ascending to leadership positions in sport, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, congratulated E-Alliance on the official launch of the Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport today.

The hub began operations a week ago. It is one of the initiatives that will help the Government of Canada achieve gender equity in sport at all levels by 2035.

The Government of Canada has invested $1.6 million to design, create and implement the Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport, in order to support applied research in sport.

Directed by Gretchen Kerr (University of Toronto), Guylaine Demers (Laval University) and Ann Pegoraro (University of Guelph), the hub will work with a unique network of academic researchers, sport representatives, government and non-government organizations as well as gender equity experts from outside sport and academia. Together, they form a central resource hub dedicated to research that will generate knowledge to support gender+ equity in sport.

Research has shown the barriers that girls, women and underrepresented groups face in sport are increasing because of COVID-19. The hub’s work is essential in ensuring that gender+ equity remains at the forefront of the return to sport.


“The launch of the Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport is an important step in achieving gender equity in Canadian sport. The hub’s work will help create environments where girls and women feel comfortable participating in sport, regardless of their age and level. Congratulations to the University of Toronto, and its partner, Laval University, on being selected to lead this important research centre.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage 

“As a member of the Gender Equity in Sport Working Group, I know how essential it is that girls and women have the same opportunities to participate in all levels of sport, physical activity and recreation. I am pleased to see the research centre officially launch and begin its work to help us identify and break down the barriers that exist between women and all of the benefits of physically active and healthy lifestyles. This important research provides a solid foundation on which we can work with the sport community to build a healthier Canada.”

—Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)

“Sport Canada’s initiative to establish the Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport represents an important and unique opportunity for researchers and practitioners to work together to advance gender+ equity in sport participation and leadership. Through the production, curation, and sharing of knowledge, the hub will make significant contributions in achieving gender+ equity by 2035.”

— Dr. Gretchen Kerr, Co-Director, E-Alliance, Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport

“I am proud to be part of this adventure alongside my colleagues Gretchen Kerr and Ann Pegoraro. A woman’s place in sport has always been at the heart of my personal and professional commitments, and E-Alliance is a wonderful opportunity to make an even greater contribution in achieving gender+ equity in sport. By investing in the advancement of girls and women in sport, the Government of Canada is confirming its leadership role in this area.”

—Guylaine Demers, Co-Director, E-Alliance, Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute also received $1 million to support data collection at the hub.

  • The implementation of the Research Hub for Gender+ Equity in Sport is one of the key initiatives designed to help the Government of Canada meet its commitment of achieving gender equity in sport at all levels by 2035. 

  • E-Alliance’s website provides Canadians with resources and information to help create environments where women and girls feel comfortable and safe participating in physical activity and sport at all ages and levels. All research results will be published on the website.

  • E-Alliance has just launched a call for research proposals. Those interested are invited to write to to get more information.

  • According to recent research:

    • 41 percent of girls age 3 to 17 and 84 percent of women do not participate in sport;
    • 41 percent of senior staff of national sport organizations are women;
    • 39 percent of sport board members are women; and
    • 34.9 percent of certified coaches are women, and 30 percent of officials are women.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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