Newcomer On the Move Project

CAAWS’ Newcomer On the Move project is designed to address disparities in the availability and utilization of physical activity and sport opportunities for newcomer girls and young women. In 2009-2011, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport’s Healthy Communities Fund, CAAWS collaborated with organizations in Ottawa, Brampton, Hamilton and North Bay to develop and deliver healthy living programs for this target group. With funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada in 2011-2014, CAAWS is building on the 2009-2011 project by sustaining existing programs in Ontario, and adding a total of eight new community program hosts across the country.

Why Newcomer Girls?

  • Evaluation results and feedback through CAAWS’ national On the Move initiative identified newcomer girls and young women as an underserved population, and many practitioners report a lack of education and awareness about the unique needs, interests and experiences of this target group.
  • In their 2006 “Inclusive Model for Sport and Recreation Programming for Immigrant and Refugee Youth”, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) reported that many sport and physical activity programs are not gender appropriate, and fail to address parental and cultural concerns with respect to girls’ and young women’s participation. OCASI recommended that more girl-focused programs be created (Women’s Sport Foundation, 2009).
  • According to Sport Canada’s 2005 “Sport Participation in Canada” report, minority girls and women are the most underrepresented population in the Canadian sport and recreation system. Systemic barriers, racism and a lack of sense of belonging contribute to their limited participation (McNamee & Flemming, 2007; Walseth, 2008; Spracklen, et al., 2006).
  • Females from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and females of colour engage less in physical activity and have less access to sport and physical activity programs (Women’s Sport Foundation, 2009).
  • Groups having higher than average rates of obesity in Canada include many immigrant communities, those living in rural areas, and those with a lower socio-economic status (CIHR, 2003).

Click here for more information about CAAWS’ 2011-2014 National project.
Click here for more information about CAAWS’ 2009-2011 Ontario project.



Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity
970 Queen Street East,
PO Box 98162
Toronto, Ontario M4M 1J0
Tel: 416-901-0484