February Newsletter: Intersecting Beijing Games and Black History Month Demonstrates Importance of Continued Anti-Racism Work

Every February, people participate in Black History Month festivities and events to understand and learn of the contributions of Black Canadians and their communities. This edition contains resources and opportunities to continue your anti-Black racism journey for this month and beyond.

We know that representation is important. Toronto bobsledder, Cynthia Appiah is making big strides in the bobsled world as a Black athlete and hopes to break the stereotype of what Winter Olympian looks like in the upcoming games. “Being a Black athlete in a winter sport, you do come across, unfortunately, some negative stereotypes about your abilities,” Appiah said. “And I find that it just makes it that much sweeter when I am successful.” (cbc.ca) For more on Cynthia Appiah’s story, click here.

We can also look out for figure skater Vanessa James, who has come out of retirement to compete in her fourth Olympic Games. The skater from Montreal will be looking for a podium finish after placing fifth at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games. For a full list of athletes heading to the games, click here.

Canada’s women excelled during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Let’s continue to support Team Canada in Beijing. Visit CBC.ca to catch the action live.

Access resources to continue or begin your anti-racism journey:

Upcoming Learning Opportunities:

  • The third of our Engaging Girls and Women in Sport Mini Series with the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is taking place on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, from 1:00-2:00pm EST. Join an exciting panel for a discussion on Engaging Black Community Coaches. Click here to register for the free event. Missed the previous two? Catch the recordings here.
  • Our fourth interactive session of the Engaging Women in Active Living Workshop Series with the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association and Recreation Ontario is happening on February 3rd from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST. Join an exciting panel of speakers as they discuss how to create Inclusive & Welcoming Programs for adult women. Register here.

Organizational Updates:

  • Canadian Women & Sport is delighted to announce the names of the organizations selected to receive a 2022 WISE Fund Grant. Since 2004, Canadian Women & Sport has awarded over $300,000 in grants through our WISE Fund to leaders and organizations across Canada. With the support of Sport Canada, the 2022 WISE Fund awarded 45 organizations $2500 to advance gender equity in Canadian sport – helping Canadian Women & Sport bring our strategic goals to life. Check out the 2022 grant recipients.

Gender Equity Initiatives From Our Friends:

  • Talijeh Manybears, one of the leads of the Same Game Challenge for Siksika Parks & Recreation – Siksika Health Services, is taking her learnings from the program and using opportunities learned to give back to her community. “One of the biggest takeaways is that learning more about coaching fundamentals and how that will assist in my work developing programs going forward.” The Siksika Nation Royalty plans to create a Training & Conditioning program in 2022 for women and girls in the community to get involved in physical activity. “Taking our learnings from the Same Game Challenge will enable us to empower leaders and youth in our community to try and bring more positive things to the Siksika reserve. This new program will have a specific focus on volleyball, basketball and cross-country running.” The young community leader has long been involved in sport and recognizes the benefits it provides for youth to be involved in physical activity, “Living in an environment where people are dealing with health and addiction problems, sport and community is essential. Many Indigenous people have gone to residential school and a lot of healing must be done. Dealing with my own depression and lack of motivation through sport has given me the tools to live a positive life for both myself and for others.” The North American Indigenous Games athlete will be attending Red Deer College on a Track and Field scholarship for nursing in the fall of this year.
  • Know a young women or girl athlete in search of mentorship and personal development? Introducing Athlete Women Empowered (AWE) — an ELITE mentorship and learning journey designed to empower young BIPOC athletes to take control of their future. Learn from over 30+ BIPOC women industry innovators, gain access to six skill-building modules, 1-on-1 & group mentorship, and more! Visit www.aweprogram.ca to learn more and apply today. Applications due February 14th, 2022.
  • The Anti-Racism in Sport Campaign working group is hosting the second day of their Access and Inclusion to Sport Virtual Conference on February 5th, 2022. This conference will examine the perspectives, experiences and barriers that historically excluded groups experience in sport as well as ways organizations can create more inclusive sport. Register here to attend the event. More details are on their website: www.antiracisminsport.ca.
  • The North Shore Table Tennis Club (BC) has designed a Women and Girls Table Tennis Program with the goal of increasing the number of women and girls’ participants of all ages engaging in regular physical activity and recreational sport. The program initiative is to focus on development of women and girls in table tennis in a safe, respected and supported environment. For more details on the program, click here.
  • Apply for a ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge Grant! The ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge is returning from June 1 – 30, 2022. Apply to the ParticipACTION micro-grant program by February 21 to receive up to $1,500 to support activities that get your community active during the challenge. ParticipACTION has earmarked a portion of the funds to specifically support multi-sport projects that engage women and girls through the Sport Canada Gender Equity Fund. To see if you are eligible, please read the grant guidelines or connect with Megan (ParticipACTION outreach coordinator) at projects@participaction.com. Apply today!

Have a gender Equity initiative you want to share? Click here.

Thanks for reading!