The Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) is please to announce that is has been selected as one of the 45 recipients, from across the country, of the Canadian Sport & Women 2021 WISE Fund. The OVA was awarded $2,500 to advance gender equity in the sport system. We express our profound gratitude to Canadian Women & Sport for this opportunity.
With the funding, the OVA will offer training and support to a number of young female leaders through an educational program. Through the support of established female mentors in the Ontario volleyball community, a program will be created for 17-18U girls who will work with these mentors to deliver a workshop in their area to build and inspire future female leaders. The athletes will develop leadership skills by exercising the qualities alongside their mentors through engagement, education and practical application.
Full details of the program, including dates and application process will be finalized and made available in the coming months.
“We look forward to providing young females in our province the opportunity to gain these invaluable skills by working with strong female leaders who at one point were in their shoes,” said Lauren Breadner, OVA Athlete Development Coordinator. “In Ontario, girls have the highest participation on the court in comparison to the boys, but making steps towards a balanced representation off of the court is what we’re trying to accomplish with this project.”
The OVA has been making efforts to make volleyball a more inclusive sport, as seen most recently with the creation of the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Advisory Committee of which 64% of the members are female. Over half of the OVA’s membership is comprised by females, most of which stem from youth athletes (approximately 75% of the youth athlete make-up is female ca. 2019). Numbers from position of leadership such as coaches and administration are not as proportionate with their male counterparts occupying these roles.
The funding from the WISE grant will serve to build the next generation of female leadership in volleyball, and with the skills the programs participants will acquire, into their professional careers.
Please contact Lauren Breadner at email@example.com for information on the program.
The WISE Fund grant was established to create equitable opportunities for women and girls to participate and lead in the Canadian sport system. Since 2004, Canadian Women & Sport have awarded $250,000 in grants to organizations across the country to achieve gender equity.