2014 WISE Fund Recipients

Amanda Neima
Sport: Gymnastics
Supported by: Gymnastics Canada

amanda_neimaThere is a dire need for qualified and certified gymnastics coaches in the Northwest Territories. Amanda Neima is certified as a level 2 full time gymnastics coach in Yellowknife and is currently coaching competitive gymnastics levels that are pre-competitive up to level 3, as well as recreational gymnastics. The WISE Fund will allow Amanda to complete her level 3-certification and therefore enable her to continue to coach athletes that are ready to progress to the next stages of training. A former gymnast and a junior level coach as a teenager, it is Amanda’s dream to work with athletes at a national level and she hopes to send athletes to Canada Games in the near future. Once the level 3-certification is achieved, Amanda will be the only coach certified at this level in the NWT.

Stephenville Minor Hockey Association
Sport: Hockey
Supported by: Hockey Canada

stephenville_hockeyThe Stephenville Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) has seen the largest increase among female registrants for the past three years, with 48 female players registered in a program that was barely able to form one ice team just a few years ago. To support this growth, the WISE Fund will be used to certify female coaches aged 15+ that will in turn provide leadership and positive role-modeling to its participants, as well as offer other avenues to support girls’ continued involvement in their sport. The SMHA aims to offer a coaching seminar to be held in the western region of Newfoundland and Labrador. The SMHA will make specific effort to reach out to a number of former participants in the region to undertake this training. With no current certified female coaches in the SMHA, this initiative is an excellent way to develop new leadership and continue to support increased participation of girls and young women in its hockey program.

Canadian Women’s Sledge Hockey Team
Sport: Sledge Hockey
Supported by: Hockey Canada

sledge_hockeyIn an effort to promote and develop women’s sledge hockey in Canada, the Canadian Women’s Sledge Hockey team is building on their inaugural women’s sledge hockey camp that was recently held in Leduc, Alberta, aiming to host additional camps in less exposed regions of Canada. This initiative will enable women from all across the country to participate with an all women’s sledge hockey program. The WISE Fund will be used to offset costs related to hosting another three-day camp in 2014. The camp will offer high-level coaching, ice practices, an off ice session, and an exhibition game against a local men’s sledge hockey team. The long-term goal, as stated in the International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey Strategic Plan, is to expand women’s sledge programs with the objective of hosting a major Women’s Championship in 2019. This funding support is helping the Canadian team to work towards this reality.

Cross-Country Canada Women’s Committee
Sport: Cross-Country Skiing
Supported by: Cross-Country Canada

Wmns-CommitteeThe Cross-Country Canada (CCC) Women’s Committee has undergone extensive research in order to better understand, and learn ways to address, the declining enrolment of female xc-ski racers aged 17-24. One of the corrective strategies is the delivery of a female only, retreat style training camp for developing racers. This initiative provides a unique opportunity for these athletes to train together, develop critical social networks, learn from mentors and guest coaches, and participate in sport psychology sessions that aim to empower, develop self-confidence, and to help address many of the challenges that are common among these female athletes. The WISE Fund will help to offset many program expenses, enabling a greater number of up and coming female xc-skiers to participate. The CCC Women’s Committee aims to deliver both an Eastern and a Western retreat.

Football New Brunswick
Sport: Female Flag Football
Supported by: Football Canada

nb_footballFootball New Brunswick is a leader in the country for the promotion and development of female Football. Building on the success of their Tackle Football program, Football New Brunswick is currently working to develop and implement a flag football program for females aged 14-17. As part of this program development is the opportunity for female coaches to enhance their coaching experience, including partaking in nationally certified coach training specific to flag football. The initiative also includes an eight-week program for female participants from Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton to participate in two weekly practices in their respective areas, and to travel to play one weekly game. The WISE Fund will be used to offset a range of program costs, including equipment, promotion, and coach training. This program will provide an important opportunity for females to try a sport that is currently not well-represented.

Katrina Couch
Sport: Snowboarding
Supported by: Snowboard Canada

katrina_couchDedicated athlete, young leader, and passionate coach – Katrina Couch has been coaching snowboarding for five years. Currently working with Snowboard Yukon, Katrina is entering her second term as the Vice-President Snowboard Yukon board and is a representative on the Women in Snowboarding Board through Canada Snowboard. Katrina has been selected as the coach to lead their competitive team to national competitions. In order to fulfill this role, Katrina must complete further certification, including certification in competition development prior to 2015. The WISE Fund will be used to offset costs related to coaching development fees, including travel costs to attend training programs. Upon completion, Katrina will become the second fully trained competitive female coach in the Yukon. In addition, as a Tahltan First Nation female coach that participated in the Aboriginal Coaching program, this additional certification will enable Katrina to lead their teams to the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Expanding the number of certified female coaches will also help to reach out to more female athletes by providing programs that focus strictly on female athlete development.

Latin Runners
Sport: Road Running
Supported by: Athletics Canada
latin_runnersLatin Runners is a free ‘learn to run’ program that was first formed to target the participation of women that are facing depression, adaptation challenges, loneliness or stress. With its beginning in June 2013 in Langley, BC with 11 participants, it has since grown to six (soon to be nine) other cities with 80 active runners and 220 potential runners. The program provides participants with an important sense of being a part of a community. The program has broadened to include participants from other countries who have joined because they share a passion and a sense of empathy towards the group. The majority of runners are first time runners who are supported by leaders that are helping to develop skills in running and walking techniques, injury management/prevention, and other technical components. The WISE Fund will be used to provide official leader/coach training via a three-day Road Running Coach program being delivered by BC Athletics. The Latin Runners program enables enhanced well-being of its participants, improved fitness, and contributes to a more supportive community.

Click here for an Update on the Latin Runners

Ornmadee Baxter-Lovo
Sport: Canoe Kayak
Supported by: Canoe Kayak Canada

ornmadeeAs a young up and coming coach at the Sackawa Canoe Club in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Ornmadee Baxter Lovo has demonstrated herself as a highly effective coach working primarily with U13 and U11 participants at the most crucial stage of development. Leadership is a key pillar of the Canoe Kayak Canada strategic plan that involves the development of professional coaches, specifically by increasing the number of women progressing towards advanced level coach education and full time coaching careers. The WISE Fund will be used to support Ornmadee’s continued development as a coach, and will provide important training equipment and conditioning tools for the off-season, all female training program that targets younger ages. This support will provide adequate equipment to serve higher program enrollment levels, a challenge that smaller clubs often face. It will also help to maintain the enrollment of the current participants who have developed special bonds with other girls and young women.

Oskayak Women’s Basketball Club
Sport: Basketball
Supported by: Basketball Canada

The Oskayak Women’s Basketball Club is a First Nations high school basketball team located in Saskatoon. This club provides the opportunity for Aboriginal girls to play high school sports and experience being a part of a team. Many of these girls and young women live in low socio-economic conditions, broken homes with little support, and unstable situations. Without this program, these participants would never have the opportunity to play. Going further, the program also provides the opportunity for the participants to participate in free yoga classes and hosts an annual brunch that introduces them to the University of Saskatchewan Huskie women’s basketball team in order to showcase opportunities that exist beyond high school. The WISE Fund will support the provision of uniforms,  transportation, nutritional meals and babysitting costs for those players who have young children. The overall goal of this program is to inspire young women to go confidently in the direction of their dreams.

Prince Edward Island Soccer Association
Sport: Soccer
Supported by: Canadian Soccer Association

pei_soccerThe PEI Soccer Association (PEISA) runs a provincial All-Star program from January to June each year. Currently only one female coach is in place to coach the U14 teams. The three other teams (U13 girls, U15 girls, U16 girls) all have male coaches. In an effort to increase equity and accessibility to programs and services, and to increase the technical ability of players and the quality and quantity of female coaches, the PEISA have identified four potential females that are interested in becoming certified coaches. The WISE Fund will be used to assist these women in achieving this training, offsetting costs related to membership fees for an online coaching program that will support them with the skills that are needed to develop their practice sessions. It will also be used to cover the costs and travel expenses to attend the B License course. This initiative aligns with the strategic pillars of the Canadian Soccer Association and PEISA, and will create a legacy for girls and women participating in this sport.

Women in Soccer Empowering Referees (W.I.S.E.R)
Sport: Soccer
Supported by: Canadian Soccer Association and the Ontario Soccer Association

wsrefereeA shortage of female match officials, game leaders and role models is a crucial issue in Canadian soccer. That’s why Women in Soccer Empowering Referees (W.I.S.E.R) was formed in 2010 – a sub-committee of the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) Referee Development Department. Comprised of six female referees and the manager of referee development, these leaders have been tasked with developing a plan and putting into action the opportunities to increase the number of female game officials, mentors and assessors. The ultimate goal of W.I.S.E.R is to improve the quality of officiating in Ontario while increasing the number of female role models. After completing a comprehensive online survey, W.I.S.E.R has learned the top three challenges and opportunities that respondents indicate will improve the experience of becoming and serving as a female official. The WISE Fund will allow this sub-committee to put these opportunities into effect. This includes implementing a mentoring program, educating and training assistant referees, and hosting workshops for females, by females. This program is fully aligned with the Canadian Soccer Association, and is creating opportunities and a legacy for girls and women involved in the sport of soccer.

Wascana Racing Canoe Club
Sport: Canoeing
Supported by: Canoe Kayak Canada

wascanaThe Wascana Racing Canoe Club (WRCC) is a non-profit organization that provides competitive and recreational sprint canoe-kayak programs for Regina area youth and adults. The WRCC has set an objective to increase the participation of women in its program and has established a number of strategies to help them bring this objective to a reality. This includes a comprehensive promotion plan, the delivery of a series of learn to canoe/kayak camps and training sessions, and the presence of certified coaches to support skills development among new recruits. The WISE Fund will be used to support these activities, with a specific allotment that will focus on specialized training of female canoeists. Women’s sprint canoe is a recognized sport in Canada and the US and is included in the national championships of both countries. Canoe-Kayak Canada and International Canoe Federation are working towards inclusion in the Olympic Games as early as 2020. The WRCC is working hard to ensure that girls and young women have the opportunity to join and thrive in its sport.