OBA Advancing Gender Equality for Women in Sport Project

Ontario Basketball Joins Canada 150 Project to Increase Female Participation in Sport

On August 16, the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) announced a new three-year Advancing Gender Equality for Women in Sport project in partnership with Ontario Basketball and Ontario Soccer. The project is funded by the Canada 150 project through the Status of Women Canada, and the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Status of Women, was in Toronto to officially announce the funding.

The project aims to help sport organizations advance their objectives by expanding their ability to engage girls and women as a key driver of long-term success.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to help ensure more women and girls have the opportunity to participate and lead in sport while also helping to address some of the most pressing challenges facing sport organizations,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CAAWS CEO. “Our goal is to make it easier for organizations to be inclusive, driving benefits for organizations and for women.”

With the Ontario Government’s newly developed Advancing Opportunities for Women and Girls in Sport: Ontario’s Action Plan, this project is timely and poised to increase competency within the Ontario sport system and beyond to deliver real value for girls and women in and through sport.

“As is the case in many sports, participation numbers for females in basketball are drastically lower in all roles compared to males,” said Jason Jansson, Ontario Basketball Executive Director. “The project is an ideal opportunity for PSOs to examine how our current institutional practices may be unintentionally contributing to barriers for women and girls to participate in our sports. Ontario Basketball sees this project as an ideal opportunity to adapt current practices and implement the practical strategies that arise from the project findings, with the hopes of addressing the barriers and ultimately increasing the participation of women and girls in our sport.”

As part of Canada’s yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Status of Women Canada is providing over $18 million for 50 projects that advance gender equality across Canada. In addition to respective project activities, participating organizations will be involved in a national collaboration of 150 female leaders. Ontario Basketball, CAAWS and Ontario Soccer have each identified one female leader to participate in the collective, which will focus on key themes relating to opportunities for women in Canada. Director of Basketball Development, Lindsay Walsh, will represent Ontario Basketball.

“Strong, dynamic leaders are the heart of the women’s movement and their passion and engagement are the key to achieving gender equality,” commented Maryam Monsef, Minister for Status of Women. “I am proud to support their efforts and of our government’s ongoing commitment to gender equality.”