2011 WISE Fund Recipients

Cowichan Storm Women’s Lacrosse – Cowichan Valley, BC
Sport: Lacrosse
Supported by: Canadian Lacrosse Association

Cowichan Storm Women’s Lacrosse was created in 2000 and today has grown to include a Women’s travel team, a house league, and U19, U16, and U12 teams. While small in comparison to the other women’s lacrosse centres, Cowichan Storm has been very successful in promoting lacrosse and encouraging female participation in the area. Three of their members have tried out for the National team, and two younger players have received scholarships to US schools to play Division 1 Lacrosse. Additionally, for the last few years Cowichan Storm has hosted teams from Japan and the UK, who come to the centre for lacrosse clinics and exhibition games. Despite their success, the Cowichan Storm Women’s Lacrosse teams have been using the same set of jerseys for many years, with their younger players having to wear adult sized uniforms. With the WISE Fund, Cowichan Storm will purchase a full set of uniforms for the women’s team and the U19 team. The Cowichan Storm Women’s Lacrosse teams are viewed as leaders in the sport because of their great team spirit, superb coaches and tireless volunteer support. With support from CAAWS and the new jerseys, the team will look as good as they play.

Muskoka Girls Hockey Association –District of Muskoka, ON
Sport: Hockey
Supported by: Hockey Canada

In the District of Muskoka, young female hockey players must travel over an hour to play in neighbouring leagues, often dominated by boys. In 2011 the Pee Wee girls’ hockey initiative formed to address the barriers female hockey players in the area experience. The goal of this initiative is to promote, provide, and develop opportunity for girls ages 10-12 to play hockey on female teams. The WISE Fund will assist the Muskoka Girls Hockey Association (MGHA) in offering a “Girls’ Hockey – Stick with it” program to girls and young women in the area. This program will include two free fun skates and a one hour hockey drills/skills event led by former Team Canada member and gold medalist Natalie Rivard. During this time, Rivard will also deliver a motivational speech and offer quality mentorship to the participants. Practice T-shirts with the MGHA logo and souvenirs will also be provided. The hope is that the “Girls’ Hockey – Stick with it” program will create a groundswell of interest for hockey and encourage more female players to try out for the Muskoka girls Pee Wee team.

Ottawa Carleton Wheelchair Sports Association – Ottawa, ON
Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
Supported by: Wheelchair Basketball Canada

The Ottawa Carleton Wheelchair Sports Association (OCWSA) has approximately 35-40 members including both disabled and able-bodied athletes. As the number of female participants has grown on the house and competitive teams, OCWSA has seen the need for developing a specific women’s team. With help from the WISE Fund, OCWSA will remove barriers and support the development of female athletes by covering registration fees for tournaments for team members, including fees for the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League’s Women’s Championships. Funds will also assist in subsidizing costs for players to participate in women’s training camps and skills clinics offered to female athletes in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

Cyclo Bellas- Calgary, AB
Sport: Cycling
Supported by: Canadian Cycling Association

Cyclo Bellas, a women’s only road riding group affiliated with the Alberta Bicycle Association, was created in 2010 with the primary goal of providing women interested in racing with a comfortable and supportive launching point to kick start their racing career. Cyclo Bellas helps address would be barriers for first time racers such as obtaining a race license, developing basic race skills and understanding race rules – providing potential racers the information, skills and confidence needed to ensure a positive first race experience. The success of their first season has prompted Cyclo Bellas to expand their Rider-to-Racer program, an eight-week training program led by a NCCP-certified coach that includes clinics on bike maintenance, nutrition, road riding skills and strategy, and a final “newbie” race. The WISE Fund will enable two members of Cyclo Bellas to attend their first NCCP coaching course to further develop the capacity of the group. These newly trained coaches will then assist in delivering the Rider-to-Racer program. Part of the funds will also be dedicated to subsidizing entry fees for all new racers attending the “newbie race”.

Metepenagiag First Nation Recreation and Sport Committee – Red Bank, NB
Sport: Volleyball, Badminton, Basketball, Floor Hockey
Supported by: Aboriginal Sport Circle

The Metepenagiag First Nation Recreation and Sport Committee (MFNTSC) was established to promote healthy and active living for Aboriginal youth with the understanding that healthy lifestyles create healthy communities. With the WISE Funds, MFNRSC will develop a biweekly program for girls and young women to learn and participate in a variety of sports. The participants will select the sports themselves through a sign up sheet to ensure the program reflects their interests. Fran Francis, the President of MFNRSC and a NCCP Level 1 volleyball coach will also host a two day volleyball clinic with girls receiving water bottles, t-shirts and nutritious snacks. Through this program, the hope is to establish Aboriginal teams that will provide greater opportunity to girls and young women to participate in sport with their peers and in their own community. By teaching participants the skills they need to play team sports, and in creating Aboriginal teams that can compete against other First Nations communities, girls from Metepenagiag First Nation will become healthy, active, and confident individuals who take pride in their community and culture.

South Niagara Rowing Club – Welland, ON
Sport: Rowing
Supported by: Rowing Canada Aviron

South Niagara Rowing Club (SNRC), a non-profit, volunteer driven organization, aims to attract new participants to the sport of rowing, develop their fitness, athleticism, skills and ultimately foster a love for the sport. Unfortunately, a shortage of female rowing coaches threatens the attainment of this goal. With the WISE Fund, the SNRC will support two Junior A Women rowers (Under 19) in completing their Rowing Canada Aviron Coach certification, qualifying them to coach Learn to Row and Novice Competitive rowers. The CAAWS’ WISE Fund will enable these young women to work as certified RCA Coaches and position them to pursue careers in coaching should they choose.

L’Échappée Belle – Montreal, QC
Sport: Cycling
Supported by: Canadian Cycling Association

L’Échappée Belle is a female only “cyclosportive” (cycle-sport event accessible to all types of cyclists). Organized by the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC), this event’s purpose is to encourage women of all ages and horizons to stay active while having fun. Originally, there were not many women registering for regular “cyclosportives” because they were found, or believed to be, too competitive and/or not adequate for the needs and expectations of female cyclists. L’Échappée Belle was therefore created to better reflect the interests and expectations of women by combining cycling sessions with shopping, a delicious nutritious meal, and entertainment. In 2010, 175 women attended the first L’Échappée Belle event. In April 2011, with support from the WISE Fund, L’Échappée Belle will offer a three day road cycling development camp for young women. Through this camp, 18 riders between the ages of 14 and 17 will receive training and benefit from expert tips related to nutrition, tactics, mechanics, and sport psychology. A workshop delivered by an elite female athlete will also be part of the program. This event will help capture the interests of young women and promote the sport of cycling.

Joy Ang – Toronto, ON
Sport: Karate
Supported by: Karate Canada

Joy Ang, is a Class “A” karate official, the first and only female official from Ontario, and one of only three female officials in Canada to hold an international license. She is also a member of the Ontario Referee Committee and has delivered referee clinics specifically for women for the past two years. These clinics are a “first” in Ontario and have been positively received across the province. Joy’s other titles and credits include being a former two-time Canadian sparring champion, a medalist in numerous individual and team events, the first Ontario female to win a medal in kata (forms) at a national championship, the first female to win the prestigious Masuko Cup, the first female provincial team coach, a mother of two children, and the Vice President of Karate Canada Board of Directors. With the WISE Fund, Joy will continue to pursue professional development opportunities, specifically attending the 2011 Junior and Senior Pan American Championships in Mexico and Brazil to participate in clinics with international leaders in karate to improve her overall knowledge and skills.

Candace Bloomquist – Saskatoon, SK
Sport: Tackle Football
Supported by: Football Canada

Tackle football is not just for males. Participation in this sport builds strength, courage and character, and Candace Bloomquist believes more females should enjoy the benefits this sport has to offer. Candace earned a Bachelor’s degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, while playing NCAA Division 1 Women’s Basketball on a full athletic scholarship. After completing her Bachelor’s degree she served in the U.S. Army as a Medical Laboratory Specialist while also earning a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Candace recently completed a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan and now participates in sports recreationally. Recently, Football Saskatchewan hosted Saskatoon’s first tackle football camp exclusively for females. Building on the success of this camp, Candace believes it is time for more women to become certified tackle football coaches. With support from the WISE Fund, Candace will obtain her coaching certification and help further develop women’s tackle football in Saskatchewan.

Vanessa Bonk – Regina, SK
Sport: Biathlon
Supported by: Biathlon Canada

Biathlon, a combination of freestyle skiing and marksmanship, is a growing sport in Saskatchewan with membership levels tripling in recent years. This year, Saskatchewan will have eight athletes (four female) traveling to Halifax for the Canada Winter Games with Vanessa Bonk joining them as team manager. Other than Vanessa, who has her club level coaching certification, there are no female coaches in the province. Vanessa is an active member, volunteer and coach with a local club in Regina, is president of Biathlon Saskatchewan and serves on the board of Biathlon Canada. Vanessa is unique in that she is the only female actively involved in the sport of Biathlon in Saskatchewan that is currently working towards competition coaching certification. With help from the WISE Fund, Vanessa will begin the process of obtaining her Introduction to Competition level coaching. This level of coaching requires in class sessions and observation by the coach trainer to demonstrate absorption of course material and the ability to practically apply it in a coaching scenario. The WISE Fund will assist Vanessa in meeting these requirements, and help her travel to various race locations in different provinces where both she and the coach trainer can be present.

Katrina Couch – Whitehorse, YT
Sport: Snowboarding
Supported by: Canada Snowboard

Katrina has been involved with snowboarding as both an athlete and coach for years. She competed in the 2007 Canada Winger Games, has obtained her National Coaching Certification Program, and has been coaching snowboarding in Whitehorse for the past two years.
Presently, Katrina works for Snowboard Yukon, volunteers on the Snowboard Yukon Board, is the Yukon representative on the Women in Snowboarding (WIS) Board through Canada Snowboard, and is participating in the Aboriginal Apprentice Coach Program. Coming from the Yukon, Katrina has experienced first-hand the challenges that athletes and coaches from this area face, including weather conditions, lack of proper training facilities, lack of competition training, isolation, and costly travel expenses. With support from the WISE Fund, Katrina wants to promote the growth of Snowboard Yukon, reach more female athletes, and create more programs that focus specifically on female athlete development. Some funds will be dedicated to coach development, mentorship and evaluation fees. The remaining funds will support outreach initiatives that promote snowboarding among schools and rural communities in the Yukon and recruit more girls and young women to the sport.

Andrea Valois – Hamilton, ON
Sport: Rowing
Supported by: Rowing Canada Aviron

Andrea Valois is the coach of the Westdale Secondary School rowing program, the Head Junior Program Coach at Leander Boat Club, and was recently selected to sit on Rowing Canada’s “Youth Rowing Committee”. As a coach, Andrea is highly conscious of her position as a role model and strives to lead by example in showing her female athletes that strong is beautiful, hard work can pay off, and that it is okay for a woman to be in the weight room after school with the football players! With support from the WISE Fund, Andrea will continue to attend professional development opportunities including the 2011 Rowing Canada Avrion (RCA) National Coaches Conference and Annual General Meeting in Richmond, B.C. This conference will provide Andrea with the opportunity to meet in person with RCA’s Youth Rowing Committee, a new initiative that may open the doors for future opportunities to have a wider impact on Canadian rowing. As a coach, Andrea creates opportunities for the young women she coaches to build confidence and learn to cooperate with each other, rather than compete against each other. There are no “cuts” on Andrea’s team as she believes that anyone can be an “athlete” and be successful if they are pushed and believed in.