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Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation

A Report on Female Participation in Sport

From resources and support in local communities to national media coverage of elite and pro athletes, understanding the challenges that Canadian women face is an important stepping-stone in overcoming gender inequality in sport. That’s why we’ve collaborated with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) to publish a report on the status of Canadian women in sport.

Watch the video to see the stats at a glance.

Take a look at the research spread for a more in-depth view:

Full Report (PDF, 2.87MB)
Short Form Report (PDF, 1.51MB)
Infographic (PDF, 3.32MB)

Clearing the Hurdles 

The statistics are startling: 41% of girls between the ages of 3-17 years don’t participate in sport – and this number jumps to an astounding 84% in adult women.

“As champions of healthy living and playing an active role in their communities, Canada’s dairy farmers are addressing inequalities through the Fuelling Women Champions (FWC) initiative” says Caroline Emond, Executive Director, Dairy Farmers of Canada. “Launching this research publication is not only a significant stride for addressing pertinent social issues, but it is a step in the right direction to propose actionable solutions and get people thinking about what they can do to change the situation.”

Funded by Canada’s dairy farmers as part of the Fuelling Women Champions movement, the study pairs information and research from academic journals and articles with data from national surveys and an analysis of 4 years of women’s sports coverage.

One of the study’s key findings, following the review of over 35,000 hours of programming from Canada’s primary national sports networks in 2014, concluded that only about 4% of coverage went to women’s sports – and of that number, more than half pertained to women’s professional tennis and the Sochi Olympics. But it doesn’t end there; women are also greatly under-represented in sport leadership roles in national and multi-sport organizations. 

Only 24% of all Athletic Director positions and 17% of all head coaching spots in Canadian Inter-University Sport are female.

Having Canada-specific data is fundamental to implementing positive social change for Karin Lofstrom, Executive Director, CAAWS. “The next step,” she says “is to address these research findings and make progress in advancing the action-orientated recommendations for women’s sport in Canada.”

You can join the conversation and the movement on TwitterInstagram and YouTube