Play. Inspire. Unite.
Ontario Soccer and The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) are excited to announce today a partnership that will bolster the advancement of women in soccer, as participants and as leaders.
The partnership, which will focus on four strategic areas – female coaching development, female match officials development, female board recruitment and female youth leadership development – will hope to serve as a best practice for other amateur sport organizations across the province and Canada.
“CAAWS is proud to support Ontario Soccer’s vision to be a leader in female inclusion through its proactive efforts to increase representation and retention,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, the CEO of CAAWS. “CAAWS will contribute its expertise as the leading authority and voice for women and sport in Canada, providing advice, guidance and support to the development of new measures and initiatives within Ontario Soccer that will advance gender equity.”
Collaboration on special projects will take place over the next two years, from development of the concepts and plans through to implementation.
“Diversity and inclusion are hallmarks of high-performing organizations and Ontario Soccer sees itself as a leader in this space,” said Johnny Misley, Ontario Soccer Executive Director. “Expanding opportunities for girls and women, as participants and as leaders within Ontario Soccer and throughout its system, is key to building a stronger province. We have 450,000 registered players playing the game from youth to adult of which 40% are female. This partnership will allow us to better recruit, develop and increase opportunities for women in key leadership roles on and off the field of play.”
In July, the Ontario provincial government announced their action plan for Advancing Opportunities for Women and Girls in Sport, which includes working with Ontario organizations involved in delivering amateur sport.
“The partnership between CAAWS and Ontario Soccer will tie directly into the strategy from the Province,” said Sandmeyer-Graves. “It offers a terrific opportunity to advance measurable change in line with CAAWS’ mission and priorities, and will produce a model of collaboration that can be replicated across the amateur sport sector.”
CAAWS and a special women in soccer leadership group of Ontario Soccer will hold their first joint workshop before the end of 2017.