When I ask my girls, ages 3 and 5, what they want to be when they grow up, they both enthusiastically will say “soccer players”. With goals like that it is hard to imagine they won’t be playing sports by high school and beyond, but the statistics tell me another story.
Did you know that only 59% of girls aged 3-17 participate in sport? Shockingly that number drops to only 16% when it comes to the amount of women in Canada who participate in sport according to a 2016 study commissioned by Canada’s Dairy Farmers.
Despite the many benefits of sports from learning important life skills such as teamwork, leadership and confidence, to the vital role they play in leading a healthy lifestyle, Canadian girls just do not remain engaged in sport due to complex societal barriers.
Canada’s dairy farmers are combating this social issue with their national initiative – Fuelling Women Champions (FWC), dedicated to the advancement of women in sport. For the second year, Canada’s dairy farmers are launching the Champions Fund, a national $100,000 grant program designed to encourage and support the next generation of girls and women in their pursuit of achieving sports excellence and a healthy lifestyle.
This year the fund has been expanded to $150,000 – up from $100,000 in 2016. A total of 30 grants of $5,000 will be awarded to deserving female athletes, teams and organizations across Canada in October 2017.
The goal of the Champions Fund, and the overarching initiative, Fuelling Women Champions, is to inspire girls and women, regardless of age or ability, to discover the benefits of sport in their lives. As a mother of two girls, that is definitely something I can get behind, and something I hope you will support as well. The need for this type of initiative and grant program is crucial.
Canada’s dairy farmers have proven themselves to be champions of healthy living by providing nutrition and also by playing such an active role in our communities. Their mission with FWC is to help remove the hurdles that exist and to support women’s sports so they will become more watched, more appreciated and more financially stable, from the grassroots level to the elite level.
For more information or to apply for the Champions Fund, visit womenchampions.ca. The application period runs from June 20 to September 20, 2017. The Champions Fund Committee will select the 30 winners from the top 50-60 applicants in October 2017. Follow and join the conversation online with hashtag #ChampionHer.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own..