Minister Pascale St-Onge announces new funding to remove barriers and improve inclusivity for women and girls in sport.
TORONTO, October 24, 2022
When environments are more inclusive and accessible, everybody wins. Recent studies found that over 90 percent of girls decreased or stopped playing sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 1 in 4 are not committed to returning to sport.
To help reverse this trend, Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, today announced renewed funding of $25.3 million over three years for gender equity in sport. The investment will help recruit and retain women and girls and support ongoing efforts to move towards the target of gender equity at all levels of sport by 2035.
Since the federal investment in gender equity initiatives in 2018, more than 17,500 athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, leaders and staff were engaged as part of funded programming. This renewed funding will ensure that Canadian sport better reflects Canadian society by supporting more women in coaching, officiating and leadership positions; by providing more opportunities for girls and women to participate in sport; and by enhancing the data collection and research necessary for decision making. Funding will also be used to support activities that expand efforts to include other demographic groups that are underrepresented in sport.
Minister St-Onge made the announcement following a roundtable with stakeholders on inclusion in sport. The roundtable was one of a series of three that Minister St-Onge is undertaking this fall. The subjects of the other two were greening and safe sport. These roundtables are part of a pan-Canadian consultation process to collect information that will be used to renew the Canadian Sport Policy.
“We want to see more girls and women participating in sport, but we also want to see more women coaches, more women officials and more women in leadership positions. At the end of the day, this investment aims to make all levels of sport in Canada more inclusive and more accessible. We know this will make a big difference in the Canadian sport system. But it will also make a big difference in our communities—making them stronger, healthier and more vibrant.”
—The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
According to the 2022 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth, boys are twice as likely as girls to meet physical activity guidelines. Furthermore, by age 16, 1 in 3 girls drop out of sport, compared to 1 in 10 boys, and 25 percent of girls (6–18 years old) whose sport participation was disrupted by COVID-19 are not committed to returning to sport.
As part of Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced its objective to achieve gender equality in sport at every level by 2035. The 2021 Sport Canada Gender Equity Funding Impact Assessment found that over 17,500 athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, leaders and staff were engaged in initiatives supported through the initial Budget 2018 investments.
The Canadian Sport Policy helps identify Canadian sport priorities and guides how all governments, institutions and organizations advance sport. It sets a direction to make sure sport has a positive impact on the lives of Canadians, our communities and our country. The renewed policy is set to be endorsed at the next Ministers’ meeting in February 2023 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
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