2009 WISE Fund Recipients

Lisa-Marie Vowk, Optimum Health & Fitness – Whitehorse, Yukon
Category: Coach/Official/Sports Administrator
Sport: Soccer
Supported by: Canadian Soccer Association

Lisa-Marie Vowk has created a unique program to assist female athletes to build a healthier, balanced, less-injured body with the goal of helping female athletes increase their individual and team performances and lengthen their longevity in sport. With more girls becoming involved in sports, Lisa-Marie has noticed an increase in knee, ankle, hip and back injuries in the past 5 years as well as athletes becoming injured at younger ages. In partnership with the Yukon Soccer Association, Lisa-Marie will work with the U-18 Yukon girls soccer team in preparation for the Canada Summer Games and develop a training model that can be transferred to other female athletes in other sports in the community. The WISE Fund grant will be utilized to help cover professional service fees for an athletic therapist and conditioning coach and to develop a workshop educating all members of the Yukon sport community about the project.

Alberta Freestyle Skiing Association – Calgary, Alberta
Category: Organization
Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Supported by: Canadian Freestyle Skiing Association

AFSA runs a Girls Mogul Camp that offers skill development and motivational sessions to 15-20 year-old girls free of charge. The camp was originally developed in order to increase female participation in freestyle skiing in Alberta; presently 75% of freestyle skiers in this province are male. Coaching services at the camp are provided by national team coaches and Olympic Gold Medalist, Jenn Heil. Parents of skiers are raving about the camp as it has made a big impact on not only the skill level of all participants, but also their motivation to continue in this sport that is dominated by boys and young men. The WISE Fund grant will be put towards camp operations to ensure that the Girls Mogul Camp continues to exist at no charge for the female freestyle skiers of Alberta.

Calgary Polo Splash – Calgary, Alberta
Category: Organization
Sport: Water Polo
Supported by: Water Polo Canada

Calgary Polo Splash is a masters water polo program for women that was the brainchild of a group of water polo moms who spent countless hours sitting in the bleachers at the pool watching their children play water polo. The group has been steadily growing over the years and now consists of over 60 women aged 20 to 50+ with various levels of water polo or swimming experience. They plan to host a Masters Festival to provide an opportunity for new and current players to learn skills and team concepts and the WISE Fund grant will be used to help fund some of the event-related costs for the Festival.

June Zimmer – Regina, Saskatchewan
Category: Coach/Official/Sports Administrator
Sport: Multi-sports
Supported by: Canadian Soccer Association

June Zimmer leads a program called GIRLS IN THE GAME that introduces girls aged 5-8 to a variety of sport-based activities. The GIRLS IN THE GAME motto is ‘Confidence, Competence and Friendship – Sport really is more than just a game!’ This unique program is based on the Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD) incorporating the Active Start and FUNdamental stages. The participants are learning a variety of movement patterns, such as throwing, catching, kicking and receiving using volleyballs, beach balls, soccer balls and basketballs. June’s program is a sell-out in Regina with many more girls on a waiting list! The WISE Fund grant will be used to purchase more equipment and to train more female coaches in the program.

Regina Wheelchair Rugby Club – Regina, Saskatchewan
Category: Organization
Sport: Wheelchair Rugby
Supported by: Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association

Wheelchair rugby is an emerging sport for athletes with a disability. This fast-paced game allows for full contact in a wheelchair and is played indoors on a modified basketball court. The sport is played by both men and women, but female participation in the Regina Wheelchair Rugby Club has been relatively low. The RWRC hopes to encourage more women to join the three active female participants who are already part of the club. Interestingly enough, the international federation (IWRF) has formally adopted a new rule that offers more points to teams who have more women on the court and RWRC plans to capitalize on this opportunity to not only win more games, but to also motivate more women to take part in this growing sport!

Jill Twordik – Brandon, Manitoba
Category: Coach/Official/Sports Administrator
Sport: Softball
Supported by: Softball Canada

Jill Twordik is a former softball player turned coach who participated in the 1995 Western Canada Summer Games and 1997 Canada Summer Games as an athlete and is now the assistant coach for Manitoba’s women’s softball team who will compete at the 2009 Canada Summer Games in PEI. Jill will be using the WISE Fund grant to pay for coaching certification courses for her Level III which is required in order to allow her to coach this summer at the Canada Games. Jill, at the age of 29, will be one of the youngest Level III coaches in Manitoba.

Kim Thompson – Orleans, Ontario
Category: Coach/Official/Sports Administrator
Sport: Hockey
Supported by: Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS)

Kim Thompson is a PhD student at the University of Ottawa and is assistant coach for the U of O women’s hockey team and has recently been selected to represent Canada as an assistant coach for the CIS All-Star Women’s Hockey team at the World Universiades Games in Harbin, China. Women’s hockey makes its debut at this event in 2009, however, this is a self-funded opportunity for members of the Canadian team (Kim is responsible for paying 100% of her expenses, including air travel, accommodations, entry fees, uniform, etc.) The WISE Fund grant will help Kim to off-set some of these costs enabling her to participate in a valuable learning opportunity that will contribute to her coaching success now and in the future.

Amanda Fader – Russell, Ontario
Category: Coach/Official/Sports Administrator
Sport: Wheelchair Athletics
Supported by: Athletics Canada

Amanda coaches a small group of wheelchair track athletes in her rural community of Russell, and is part of the provincial team program in Ontario and Canada’s national team program (she was part of the Paralympic team coaching staff in Beijing in 2008 and in Athens in 2004). In order to fully live up to her various coaching and volunteer commitments, Amanda travels frequently between Russell and Oakville, Ontario and most of her expenses are her own responsibility. Amanda plans to use the WISE Fund grant to assist her with off-setting some of these costs relieving some of the financial burden that exists for this accomplished and dedicated coach.

Performance Synchro – Laval, Quebec
Category: Organization
Sport: Synchronized Swimming
Supported by: Synchro Canada

In 2007, Performance Synchro created a synchronized swimming program for athletes with an intellectual disability, the only group of its kind in Quebec. These athletes have realized tremendous improvement in their synchro skills, as well as their cognitive capabilities and physical fitness. The WISE Fund grant will be used to subsidize the cost per swimmer, as well as contribute towards coaching certification costs for the coaches that are involved in this program. Performance Synchro also intends to use the grant to step up their marketing efforts in the hopes of attracting more athletes to this unique and highly successful program for athletes with a disability.

Celine Guillemart – Mont Joli, Quebec
Category: Coach/Official/Sports Administrator
Sport: Fencing
Supported by: Canadian Fencing Federation

Celine Guillemart plans to use the WISE Fund grant to assist with a Switzerland-Québec international fencing exchange project that she has developed. The exchange involves a group of 26 young fencers from Eastern Québec, one fencer from New Brunswick and several young Swiss athletes from the area of Neuchâtel. The initial part of the exchange took place in July 2008 when the Swiss athletes (ages 8-17), including 9 girls, came to Canada. In July 2009, the second part of the exchange will take place whereby Celine will travel to Switzerland to coach the Swiss athletes for three weeks, while at the same time pursuing her personal fencing coach training (Prévost d’Armes, followed by Maitre d’Armes).

Moncton Kiwanis Minor Basketball Association – Moncton, New Brunswick
Category: Organization
Sport: Basketball
Supported by: Canada Basketball

MKMBA offers free training and support for the 38 young referees affiliated with their organization. Sixteen of these young referees are female and very competent and dependable officials, however, most of these girls withdraw from refereeing basketball as they get older. At the present time, there are no senior level female referees in the Moncton area. MKMBA plans to use the WISE Fund grant to offer these young girls the opportunity to become certified as senior officials at a younger age. WISE Fund monies will help to pay for the certification fees and educational material required in the hopes of engaging female referees as teenagers and keeping them involved in the sport into their adult years.

Bible Hill Junior High School – Bible Hill, Nova Scotia
Category: Organization
Sport: Cycling
Supported by: Canadian Cycling Association

Bible Hill Junior High has identified a need in their community to create inter-scholastic sport programs for the young female population. BHJHS’ new mountain bike club has attracted students who do not typically participate in school sport and has elevated activity levels for many of its students who would not otherwise be active. However, the mountain bike program has attracted mainly male students to date and BHJHS hopes to change this trend. One of the barriers to girls participating in the school mountain bike club is that many do not own a bike, so BHJHS plans to utilize the WISE Fund to purchase two girls mountain bikes in the hopes of attracting more girls into the program.