350 Gathered for CAAWS Event for Ontario and Canada’s 150th

October 12, 2017

CAAWS - “A Celebration of Women and Sport” inspired and equipped participants to take action.

Toronto, October 12, 2017 – CAAWS (The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity) was joined in Toronto yesterday by 350 administrators, coaches, athletes, university students, academics, and more to celebrate and advance women and sport in Ontario and Canada. Still more joined on Twitter using #CAAWS150 for the live feed from the day.

Participants engaged in breakout sessions, plenary presentations, a showcase and networking opportunities—all with the goal of expanding and supporting leadership on this important topic. By the end of the afternoon, each person in attendance completed a personal action plan detailing how they will make a difference going forward.

The event featured respected leaders, such as Olympians Rosie MacLennan and Rosie Cossar, Lise Jubinville of Softball Canada, and Thérèse Quigley, formerly of Western University, as well as leading experts, including Catherine Sabiston and Gretchen Kerr of the University of Toronto, and Guylaine Demers from Université Laval. Covering subjects from participation to leadership, presenters prompted active discussion in the sessions and hallways.

“Thanks to the determined leadership of countless women and men over decades, the sport and physical activity system is increasingly welcoming and supportive of girls and women as participants and leaders,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CAAWS CEO. “The 150th anniversaries are the perfect time to mark this progress, but also to challenge everyone to do their part in closing the remaining gender gap that still exists—from the field of play to the boardroom table.”

The International Day of the Girl on October 11th and Women’s History Month in Canada offered meaningful context for the conversations at the event. CAAWS believes that sport is a powerful vehicle for transforming women’s position in society, as it enables girls and women to realize their fullest potential and helps to change social norms and attitudes. Sport also reaps benefits of inclusion; harnessing the talents and contributions of girls and women leads to a stronger sport system for all.

“Marking major milestones is an opportunity for us to look back at how far we’ve come and to take steps to leap ahead,” said Eleanor McMahon, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.  “The ‘Celebration of Women and Girls in Sport’ event is a strong platform for advancing women in the sports system at many levels and builds on our government’s Action Plan for Women and Girls in Sport.”

CAAWS extends its gratitude to the University of Toronto Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education for its partnership in hosting the event, to the Government of Ontario and to Sport Canada for their support in making the event possible, and to the many organizations and individuals who enthusiastically contributed to the event as exhibitors, presenters and session leads.

CAAWS also thanks all those who participated in person and via social media for their commitment to create change for girls and women.

Those looking for future opportunities to engage on this topic are invited to stay “In the Loop” with the CAAWS’ news and updates—such as the upcoming CAAWS sessions at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif conference  in Calgary from November 2-4, 2017—by signing up to the CAAWS email list

More on “A Celebration of Women and Sport” can be found here.

About the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS)

The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders.  CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders.  Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.

Follow @CAAWS on Twitter and on Facebook.


Terri Temelini

Projects and Communications Manager

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity

416-901-0484 | terri@caaws.ca