2015 WISE Fund Recipients

Julie Stevens
Sport: Rowing
Supported by: Rowing Canada Aviron
Julie Stevens was first introduced to the sport of rowing in 1988 and competed as part of a crew. She has been coaching recreational rowers since 1992. Her credentials include NCCP Level 2 certification, Rowing Canada Aviron Coach designation and accreditation in instructing Learn to Row and Adaptive Rowing programs. In 2011, Julie became frustrated because she thought she reached her peak with her rowing skills and abilities. Her frustrations turned to a new found passion when she realized Rowing BC would be funding and supporting para-rowing programs in the province. In 2012, she suggested that the Delta Deas Rowing Club start their own para-rowing program which Julie coaches for today. She is currently coaching a couple para-rowers but one of the challenges facing these athletes is finances. The WISE Fund will be used to help cover the costs of travel to regattas for the para-rowers and Julie as a coach. Julie will travel to the regattas to coach and support her athletes, waiting for them on-shore and physically helping them get in and out of the boat. A smaller portion of the funds will be used to host a Learn to Row program for new para-rowers. Julie is keen on growing the sport for female para-rowers while knocking down any barriers that may arise!

Females in Action Moving and Empowering (FAME) – Medicine Hat, AB
Sport: Multi-Sport
Supported by: Coaching Association of Canada
FAMEFAME is a community collaboration bringing females together to share, learn, build capacity and develop a support network to enhance and develop opportunities and to advocate for women and girls in sport and physical activity in Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta. One of their main initiatives focuses on increasing the number of female coaches at the grassroots level of sport for a target group, by offering female-only reduced costs NCCP workshops. The WISE Fund will be used to help cover the facilitation costs of these workshops. The workshops will not only enhance their coaching skills but allow the female participants to take part in a mentorship program with coaches in Medicine Hat. The mentorship program would greatly increase the confidence and ability of the female coaches to participate as volunteer or paid coaches within in their own sports, build on the existing NCCP multi-sport training and their development as coaches and role models within their community.

Alberta Soccer Association
Sport: Soccer
Supported by: Soccer Canada
ASA-soccerThe opportunity to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 will likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Canada and Alberta. The Alberta Soccer Development of Women in Soccer Committee will be hosting a female-led professional development weekend for women from across Alberta on June 6-7, 2015. Sessions have been chosen for their ability to support the committee’s mandate to inspire women to play, coach, lead and develop themselves to their full potential and will include; a FUNdamentals NCCP course, an entry –level referee course, Women & Leadership sessions, networking and hot seats post matches, and finishing with a keynote speaker. The WISE Fund will be used to offset costs with facility rentals for the courses and leadership sessions, childcare provider fees and the subsidization of course fees for participants.  The Alberta Soccer Association believes there is no better way to celebrate the success of women in soccer than to bring women from all over Alberta together in one room to network, and learn new skills in a supportive female-only environment, while sharing the excitement of this international event.

Lakehill Ball
Sport: Softball
Supported by: Softball Canada
LakehillThe Lakehill Ball (LHB) at Ambassador Park in Victoria BC is in its 7th year as a member of Softball BC. Although a relatively smaller softball club, LHB is part of a vibrant and supportive community, however because LHB is a smaller club, their teams must travel to other clubs for special technical instruction and drills to supplement and compliment the limited volunteer coaching unit. The time and financial commitments are barriers to facilitating pitching technical ability participation for all. The WISE Fund will be used to offset costs of locally delivered CAN-Pitch indoor clinics that would be available for LHB. Being named a recipient of the WISE Fund provides a unique opportunity that has never been offered before at LHB given the size of the club, geographical and financial barriers and the lack of specialty skilled instruction in windmill pitching.

Ontario Basketball
Sport: Basketball
Supported by: Basketball Canada
OBA_BBallOntario Basketball intends to host an inaugural ‘Basketball for Life’ Girls Symposium in the Greater Toronto Area to introduce high school girls to the various ways that they can be involved in basketball beyond playing. Over the course of this one-day event, participants will be exposed to the different roles that they can fulfill within the sport through hands-on activities and by interacting with women currently in those positions. All sessions will be led by women working in intercollegiate athletics, including an athletic director, coach, an athletics therapist, an international-level referee, a women in the sports media field, a minor official for the Toronto Raptors and the first Canadian female WNBA agent. Participants will learn about the duties and skills required for each job, and through hands-on activities they will learn how to complete tasks such as creating a practice plan, analyzing game footage, and writing a game recap. Participants will learn about the path to these careers and receive an information package outlining required certification such as NCCP and referee training, along with potential educational programs and experiential opportunities to pursue for each career.  The WISE Fund will be used to subsidize the cost for 50 high school girls to attend the symposium. The grant will allow Ontario Basketball to keep registration fees low, decreasing financial barriers and increasing the access for girls to attend the event. The “Basketball for Life” Girls’ Symposiums aims to recruit and inspire girls to be “Active for Life” in basketball.

Wild Bettys Cycling Club
Sport: Cycling
Supported by: Cycling Canada
Wild-BettysWild Bettys is a cycling club that uses the city of Toronto’s amazing urban trail system to teach women of all ages and abilities to mountain bike. They lead weekly-evening group rides, biweekly destination weekend rides and host an annual women’s only fun race, the ‘Wildbettys FunDuro’ as a goal event for women to work towards on their beloved urban trails. In order to ensure proper education and safety which engenders more and better quality experiences for participants the Wild Bettys would like to offer with support of the WISE Fund, a level 1 IMBA instructor’s course for their leaders in the spring of 2015. This will enable the Wild Bettys to teach more and more women how to mountain bike. The instructor who takes the course would pass along their knowledge to other instructors on how to lead programs and activities that will benefit their members both now and for the future. Women’s physical and mental health, along with fitness and general well-being is very important to the Club and they feel there is no better way to get fit than with friends and the fresh air!

Ontario Wheelchair Sport Association
Sport: Wheelchair Basketball
Supported by: Wheelchair Basketball Canada
owsaThe Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association (OWSA) would like to offer their female wheelchair athletes the opportunity to gather to train, practice, and learn in a supportive and social environment. Wheelchair basketball teams in Ontario are co-ed with the number of male athletes far exceeding the number of female athletes. OWSA would like to make sure that their female athletes feel supported by providing them with an environment in which they can share any struggles or successes that they experience.  A female athlete from the National Wheelchair Basketball Academy has stepped up to plan and facilitate a program that will target teens and female players that are new to the sport. Each program event will include on-court skill development sessions as well as off-court educational sessions in nutrition, strength training, and leadership development. The WISE grant will be used to help cover the costs of booking facility space, reimbursing special gust speakers for their travel expenses, as well as meals and snacks for the athletes.

Cascades Paddling Program
Sport: Canoe/Kayak
Supported by: CanoeKayak Canada
cascades_ccTen years ago there was no sprint canoe and kayak paddling in the Outaouais region. As a result of the dedication of a small group of community members who love paddling, the Cascades Paddling Program has grown exponentially. The coaches of the Cascades Paddling Program started out as young girls in the program years ago, and now they are the coaches, elite paddlers, mentors and inspiration for the club’s younger paddlers. To continue the club’s steady growth the Cascades Paddling Club would like to offer a ‘Women in Coaching: Sprint Canoe and Kayak Weekend’ to advance the women in the Outaouais region in their coaching certification. The WISE Fund will be utilized to cover costs for the Canoe Kids facilitator, entry to the ELCC facilitators’ costs, boat rentals and other fees associated with the event. This event will be a key to their club’s sustainability as it will support the personal and professional growth of individual female athletes and coaches that are needed to provide technical skills to all the amazing young women that will, in turn, become coaches, mentors, athletes and leaders in the community.

Prince Edward Island Rugby Union
Sport: Rugby
Supported by: Rugby Canada
PEI-RugbyBeing in a small province in population can lead to challenges in developing coaches, referees and athletes in the sport of rugby. It is Prince Edward Island Rugby Union’s (PEIRU) goal to increase the number of female coaches and Learner Facilitators at the higher levels of Rugby in PEI. Currently PEI only has one female coach that has higher than an NCCP Level 1 coaching certification. It is PEIRU’s hope to develop four young women through certifying them at higher levels and having them become Learner Facilitators as well. There are no course offerings in PEI, so the four young women would have to travel to another province to receive such training. The WISE Fund would be used to support the training of the young women, who had already shown their commitment and development of female rugby in PEI by coaching provincial U18 and U20 teams. Certification of these young leaders in the Rugby community will allow PEIRU to become a sustainable club in years to come and provide female role models for younger females participating in or looking to try out the sport of Rugby in PEI.

Judo Yukon
Sport: Judo
Supported by: Judo Canada
Judo-YukonBeing able to ensure active and healthy development among female participants in the sport of Judo in Whitehorse, Yukon is Coach Bianca Ockedahl’s passion. Coach Ockedahl is a Level 3 NCCP Coach for Judo and was once ranked #1 in Canada and #39 in the world before retiring. Her goal is to create ‘Girls Judo’ with Judo Yukon, which will be an instructive clinic for young girls in the Whitehorse Community on a weekly basis for an entire season. The Wise Fund will help provide new equipment, t-shirts, water bottles and healthy snacks for the girls. One of the program’s goals is that older girls will mentor the younger girls, and help Aboriginal girls try out the sport and smoothly integrate with other girls. The program will not only teach girls the proper skills in the sport of Judo but it offers a safe environment for them to grow into competent and confident leaders under Coach Ockedahl’s coaching and mentorship. From the program, one female will also be selected to attend the ‘All Girls and Women’s Judo Camp’ that runs in Alberta in the spring of 2015.