Back to School & Back to Sport

While September marks a return to school and sports, not everyone has this on their mind, especially this year. We are aware that life feels and looks different for many people affected by the wildfires in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia. Thousands have been displaced from their families, traditional lands and homes. If you’re looking for ways to support those in need, this CTV News article outlines how Canadians can help

Back to Sport: For Athletes

Over 90% of girls believe sport benefits their physical and mental health. Yet, half of girls are not participating in sports once they reach adolescence.

What can athletes do?

  • Learn more about the benefits and barriers girls face in the Rally Report 2022.
  • Consider trying a new sport or physical activity! There are many ways to access the benefits of sport. Many organizations, such as Northwest Territories (NWT) Judo Association, host introductory clinics or drop-ins so you can try a new sport before you sign up.
  • Be inspired and connect with like-minded people in sport. Follow organizations such as The Gist or the Sport Information Resource Centre to access resources, opportunities, and news happening in the Canadian sport sector.

Back to Sport: For Parents

Girls often see their parents as role models. They also consistently report feeling the most comfortable talking to their parents about sensitive topics in the context of sport, including body image, bullying, mental health, menstruation, and racism, to name a few.

However, less than 30% of parents feel they have the appropriate skills to talk to their children about these topics.

What can parents do?

  • Girls who have parents/guardians who are involved in sport are more likely to participate themselves. Consider joining a new sport or physical activity this fall. 
  • Researchers from the University of Toronto’s Sport and Performance Psychology Lab explored what conversations are like between adolescent athletes and their parents during the car ride home following sport practices and competitions. Visit TrueSport to receive resources on how to keep the ride home from sport positive

Back to Sport: For Coaches

Coaches are the most visible and influential leaders in sport. They shape the day-to-day lived experiences of participants and influence the growth and development of sport.

Studies show that by adolescence, 1 in 3 girls drop out of sport compared to just 1 in 10 boys. Coaches can play a big role in retaining girls in sport.

What can coaches do?

  • Access our Keeping Girls in Sport E-Learning module to help create safe, fun and respectful environments that will encourage girls to stay in sport and physical activity. 
  • Access our Gender Equity LENS E-Learning for tools that can help you create sport environments that support women and girls to participate and lead in sport over the long term. Bonus: sport leaders will earn two (2) NCCP points upon completion of the module.

Back to Sport: For Sport Leaders

Sport leaders have the power to make decisions that improve conditions for girls, women and gender-diverse people.

Did you know that 37% of administrators do not consider gender when allocating resources?

Sport leaders build coaching and officiating pathways, recruit volunteers and plan event schedules; they play a critical role in building better, safer sport for girls.

What can sport leaders do?

  • Access our Retaining Girls in Sport & Physical Activity workshop that will help sport leaders create lasting solutions for keeping girls and women in sport and physical activity by exploring how to holistically design programs to meet the psycho-social needs of girls to increase their participation and retention in sport and physical activity.
  • Access our Gender Equity in Coaching Framework and Self-Assessment tool to improve conditions for women in coaching. Our Self-Assessment tool will help to determine your organization’s areas of strength and potential areas of improvement.

Wish to learn more and get educated on all things women, girls and gender diverse people in sport as well as information and events from Canadian Women & Sport? Stay connected with our monthly newsletter!