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New grant projects will advance the Canadian sport sector through collaborative research

OTTAWA, February 7, 2020. The Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) today announces the recipients of its Researcher/Practitioner Match Grants. Funded by the Government of Canada, this new initiative is designed to connect researchers and sport organizations to build capacity and contribute to the advancement of the Canadian sport and physical activity sector.

Debra Gassewitz, SIRC President and CEO, reflected on the short- and long-term value of the initiative: “SIRC is committed to developing strong relationships between Canada’s sport system and Canadian researchers, supporting practical research that informs policy and programming. This grant program provides an incentive for collaboration that could yield long-term benefits.”

To contribute to the shared goal of achieving gender equality in the Canadian sport system by 2035, projects that produce insight to enhance the participation and leadership of girls and women were prioritized for funding.

“This program will provide us with an opportunity to examine the sport-specific retention and drop-out factors for girls and young women and help identify unconscious gender bias and its impact on female participation in badminton,” said Joe Morissette, Executive Director of Badminton Canada, who is partnering with researchers at the University of Toronto. “The findings will help inform program design and decision-making to increase long-term engagement in our sport.”

“The Researcher/Practitioner Match Grants provided an incentive for researchers and sport organizations to connect to leverage their skills and experiences, and encourages dissemination beyond the typical academic journals and conferences,” said Dr. Audrey Giles, a Professor at the University of Ottawa, who is partnering with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) and the City of Ottawa. “The required engagement of graduate students in the funded projects supports the training of the next generation of researchers in this type of applied, collaborative research.”

Response to the call for proposals was high, signaling a level of collaboration between practitioners and researchers not seen in the past. The following projects were selected for funding, representing a diverse mix of project activities and collaborators:

  • Exploring female competitive participation rates in badminton – Badminton Canada and University of Toronto
  • Factors influencing the participation of girls in Boccia in Canada – Boccia Canada and University of Montreal
  • Second generation African-Canadian adolescent girls’ participation in a community sport program in Ottawa: An intersectional analysis – Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity/City of Ottawa and University of Ottawa
  • Examining the capacity of the Canadian University Artistic Swimming League – Canada Artistic Swimming/Canadian University Artistic Swimming League and Wilfred Laurier University/McGill University
  • Uptake and impact of the “Keeping Girls in Sport” education program in Canadian youth sport coaches – Canadian Tire JumpStart Charities and University of Alberta
  • Evaluating the impact of small-area games in children’s ringette programs – Ringette Canada and York University
  • Exploring social media and teammate relationships in adolescent girls’ soccer – Soccer Canada/Dixie Soccer Club and University of Toronto
  • Understanding girls’ experiences in the Unified Sports Program – Sport Nova Scotia/Special Olympics Nova Scotia and Dalhousie University
  • Mapping gender and sport participation – Row Ontario and Brock University/Laurentian University
  • Building capacity for simultaneous sport participation for mothers and daughters: #SwimTogether – Woolwich Swim Club and University of Waterloo

Outcomes and key learnings will be disseminated by project partners and SIRC, and shared at SIRC’s 2020 Sport Canada Research Initiative Conference in October 2020.

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About SIRC

Incorporated in 1973, SIRC, the Sport Information Resource Centre, is Canada’s leader and most trusted partner in advancing sport through knowledge and evidence. SIRC is committed to engaging with organizations and individuals involved in the development of sport, recreation and physical education in Canada and around the world, to enhance the capacity of our shared community to foster growth and the pursuit of excellence. SIRC is funded in part by the Government of Canada.

Media Contact:

Peter Morrow

Knowledge & Communications Specialist

Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC)

613-231-7472 (SIRC)