Plan focuses on raising awareness and working with stakeholders to address issues affecting the active engagement of girls and women in sport and physical activity.

Tweet this:

July 30, 2013 [OTTAWA, ONT.]— After a yearlong inclusive consultation and planning process, the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is proud to release its new strategic plan, a well thought out analysis of where the Association needs to focus its attention to 2017.

CAAWS designed the process to be as inclusive and far reaching as possible. It issued a nation-wide survey in 2012, which was completed by 654 respondents and conducted 21 interviews with recognized experts in the active living and sport sectors. The data was analyzed and reported on to the staff and board by an external strategic planning consultant, who facilitated numerous workshops with CAAWS leaders throughout the process.

CAAWS determined that it needs to concentrate on a few key items over the short-term to leverage longer-term impact. In particular, the focus will be on leveraging its position as a recognized and credible voice for girls and women in sport and physical activity. This will be achieved by communicating relevant knowledge about girls and women in sport and physical activities and by raising awareness to increase people’s understanding of the issues affecting their involvement as leaders and participants. “While a lot of progress has been made over the past few decades since CAAWS was first created, there remains a serious shortfall of girls and women participating and leading at many levels of the sport and physical activity spectrum,” shared Moira Lassen, Chair of CAAWS. While we know that females are competing in high numbers in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, there remains still low participation rates of women as coaches, officials and in other leadership positions in sport. Our message is simple. Our work is not done,” stated Lassen.

In addition, CAAWS will continue to strengthen its relationships with key partners with a view of enhancing opportunities for girls and women in sport and physical activity. “We know we can’t do this alone,” said Karin Lofstrom, the long-time CAAWS champion and Executive Director. “We will continue to work with our sport and physical activity partners across the country to ensure more girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders.”

While CAAWS is not responsible for creating or delivering many of the programs and services that benefit women and girls, it is recognized for its leadership role in providing a number of flagship initiatives that the survey and interview respondents indicated where critically important in addressing the needs of girls and women. “CAAWS is a strong, respectful, credible voice for women in sport and physical activity in Canada. I’ve seen opportunities open for women and girls and I think CAAWS has a played a leadership and contributing role in the progress that has been made,” stated Cathie Kryzanowski of Saskatchewan in motion. To that end, Lofstrom shared that CAAWS will be reviewing all of its programs and services to ensure they are continuing to meet the needs of girls and women. “If we can find ways to do it better, our focus over the next few years is to do just that,” stated Lofstrom.

CAAWS encourages sport and physical activity leaders to review the strategic plan and the many other resources available on the website for ways to actively engage girls and women.
Download the Plan. (.pdf, 1.3MB)