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Ottawa, Ont. – Softball Canada is pleased to announce it has extended its partnership with INclusion INcorporated as part of its commitment to making the game even more inclusive for all participants. This partnership aligns with Softball Canada values of providing fair and inclusive access, supporting safe and fun environments, and operating with respect and integrity, and directly addresses several areas of Softball Canada’s strategic plan.
 
Softball Canada established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team in 2021 with representation from across Canada and all areas of the game (athletes, umpires, coaches and administrators). The group holds monthly meetings, providing an open and safe space for valuable conversation and discussion regarding the realities of the landscape of softball in Canada.
 
The DEI Team identified and discussed barriers to participation across six initial areas of focus: Black & People of Colour; Indigenous Peoples; LGBTQI2S+; People with a Disability; Socio-Economic Status; and Women in Sport, and considering the perspectives of athletes, coaches, and umpires. Through these valuable conversations, the Team was able to provide INclusion INcorporated with inputs and supports to co-create and advance Softball Canada’s work towards improving diversity, equity and inclusion throughout its programs and services.  
 
In June, Softball Canada officially partnered with INclusion INcorporated, a JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) consulting firm which supports leaders and their organizations on their inclusion journeys towards cultures of belonging. Focused on customized solutions that will allow organizations to implement sustainable inclusion strategies through training, action plans and tools. INclusion INcorporated works with clients in the not-for-profit, for profit, government and educational sectors and will continue to work side by side with Softball Canada in this area. INclusion INcorporated follows a multi-step process including education, research, and action plan development and support.
 
“Making softball truly inclusive and accessible is something we are committed to and are working hard with a dedicated group of volunteers to make strides in our game to build upon softball’s rich history and national success” said Softball Canada President Scott Neiles. “We are excited to continue our partnership with INclusion INcorporated and have experts in the area support and lead us through what is sure to be an enlightening process.”
 
INclusion INcorporated provided introductory DEI training to Softball Canada’s Board of Directors, staff, committee members as well as Provincial/Territorial staff and presidents, followed by data collection through the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks (GDEIB) survey and the BelongINg Metric, which measured current demographics and feelings of inclusion within Softball Canada’s current leadership. Through the guidance of INclusion INcorporated and the DEI Team, Softball Canada finalized a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Vision Statement and action plan that have now been published on its website.
 
“INclusion INcorporated is grateful to work with such thoughtful sport leaders to develop a DEI plan to support Softball Canada to move this important work forward across the softball community, and to facilitate a more inclusive sport system and opportunities for equity deserving participants to be welcomed in” shares Andrea Carey, INclusion INcorporated’s Chief INclusion Officer.
 
Softball Canada is proud to recognize the members of the DEI Team who have dedicated their time to share their lived experience and who have demonstrated their strong commitment to making softball a more inclusive sport. We encourage you to click here to read why each member of the team is critical to the success of this work.  

FIRST NAMELAST NAMEHOMETOWN
MattAllenGuelph, Ont.
AndrewCastiglioneGuelph, Ont.
YvonneConstantKinistino, Sask.
BrentFooteMount Pearl, N.L.
JennipherGeeLaSalle, Ont.
RebeccaGoudyIlderton, Ont.
AlexisHuggartCalgary, Alta.
TerryKleinSaskatoon, Sask.
PatrickLeaskBrandon, Man.
KalliMacIntosh-HoulderMississauga, Ont.
JohannaMalisaniBurlington, Ont.
SarahManfredBrossard, Que.
J.R.SimpsonSaskatoon, Sask.
ShahrukhTowheedKingston, Ont.
DaneWoodlandSt. John’s, N.L.
KareenaZanolliOkotoks, Alta.
FIRST NAMELAST NAMEPOSITION
ScottNeilesPresident
ScottSearleBoard Liaison
AngelaBallantyneManager – LTPD Programs
GillesLeBlancManager – Marketing & Communications

For more information visit http://softball.ca/dei

-SC-

For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
p: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105 | m: (613) 795-1996
w: www.softball.ca | e: gleblanc@softball.ca