New Multi-Year Women-in-Sport Strategy Launched Today

Minister Raitt, a Host of Canada's Most-Celebrated Women Athletes, Women's National Teams, and Leading Sports Organizations Join Canada's Dairy Farmers in Fuelling Women Champions

TORONTO, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's dairy farmers hosted a national launch event today where they, together with the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, a host of celebrated medal-winning athletes and sports organizations, introduced a new multi-year women-in-sport strategy entitled, Fuelling Women Champions.

"The mandate of Fuelling Women Champions is to see that no hurdle exists that might hinder passion for the game, and in our inaugural year, we are focusing on shining a spotlight on women in sport," said Wally Smith, a proud Canadian dairy farmer and president of Dairy Farmers of Canada. "We're working with some of Canada's top athletes and thought-leaders within the women and sports arena to enable more women and girls to get involved in sports and to create more fans."

The need for this kind of program is great. According to data reported by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), young girls are simply not receiving the same opportunities to develop fundamental movement skills. Only four per cent of Canadian girls achieve their recommended levels of daily physical activity. The drop-off rates for teenage girls in sports compared to boys stands at an alarming six to one ratio. Even in adulthood, only 19 per cent of Canadian women participate in sports.

"Girls play sports for different reasons than boys, and they have a unique sports culture all their own," explained Leanne Nicolle, board member at CAAWS. "They place greater emphasis on the social aspect of sports, and their aspirations are not about making it to the big leagues, because often, they don't exist – as a result, more women play purely for the love of sport."

Fuelling Women Champions is partnering with CAAWS and a host of top Canadian athletes this year, including bobsleigh champion, Kaillie Humphries; curling champion, Jennifer Jones; wheelchair-racing champion; Chantal Petitclerc; soccer champion, Desiree Scott; and hockey champion, Natalie Spooner. These athletes provide inspiration for the next generation of young women, are role models, and encourage them to dream big both in sport and in life.

"I want to show the next generation of females that you can compete in sport, have your own life and family, similar to any male professional athlete," said Jennifer Jones, top curling champion, lawyer and motivational speaker. "Through this program, I hope women and girls will be inspired to fuel their own inner champions."

Fuelling Women Champions has also developed partnerships with select sports organizations to understand and directly tackle the challenges that women and girls face every day, when it comes to pursuing sports. These organizations include the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL), Swimming Canada and Rugby Canada.

"We don't want to see this as our program only – we are hoping that women and men from across the country will join us to support their mothers, daughters, nieces, aunts, friends, colleagues, and their communities," said Smith. "Together, we can help women's sports become more watched, more appreciated and more financially stable."

To help make this happen in 2015, Fuelling Women Champions will:

  • Introduce thousands of young girls to Canada's top female athletes through sports clinics, meet and greet events, and social media community development.
  • Support local women's sports teams and leagues across the country through direct sponsorships, promotions and grassroots volunteerism.
  • Increase exposure by securing event broadcasts for women's sports both online and on television.
  • Build "home field advantage" by filling seats in the stands at women's sports games through promotions and ticket giveaways.
  • Create passionate fandom for women in sports by sharing inspirational stories and experiences.
  • Gather information on the unique culture and state of women in sports by supporting research in partnership with CAAWS.

"This movement is for women and girls from all walks of life, at all skill levels," added Smith. "We want to see more goals met, more greatness realized, and the benefits of sport universally enjoyed."

About Fuelling Women Champions
Fuelling Women Champions is a new national, multi-year initiative spearheaded by Canada's dairy farmers and it is dedicated to the advancement of women in sport. This program's focus is to see that no hurdle exists that might hinder passion for the game, and in our inaugural year, to shine a spotlight on women in sport. Canada's dairy farmers are personally committing their time, energy and resources to this cause, and have partnered with several thought-leaders, celebrated athletes, and sports organizations. Join our Fuelling Women Champions movement via @WomenChampions and #ChampionHer on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and at www.womenchampions.ca.

 

SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (Corporate)

Image with caption: "Shining the Spotlight on Women’s Sports: Minister of Transport, Hon. Lisa Raitt and Dairy Farmers of Canada president, Wally Smith, join young female athletes as they take direction from curling champion Jennifer Jones during the unveiling of the new Fuelling Women Champions program from Canada’s dairy farmers. (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Corporate))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150407_C7693_PHOTO_EN_13995.jpg

Image with caption: "Shining the Spotlight on Women’s Sports: Minister of Transport, Hon. Lisa Raitt and Dairy Farmers of Canada president, Wally Smith, join top Canadian athletes and young fans to launch the new Fuelling Women Champions program from Canada’s dairy farmers. (CNW Group/Dairy Farmers of Canada (Corporate))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150407_C7693_PHOTO_EN_13997.jpg

For further information: Sandra Da Silva, Dairy Farmers of Canada, (647) 633-3741, sandra.dasilva@dfc-plc.ca; Geneviève Fontaine, Dairy Farmers of Canada, (514) 434-2347, genevieve.fontaine@dfc-plc.ca


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