General News

Ontario Increasing Opportunities for Women and Girls in Sport

New Initiatives to Provide Equal Access to Programs, Training and Coaching 

Ontario is increasing opportunities for women and girls in sport with several new initiatives that provide equal access to programs, training and coaching.

Premier Kathleen Wynne and Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon were at University of Toronto’s Varsity Centre today to unveil the new initiatives from the province that promote equal and fair opportunities for women and girls in sport and recreation, including:

• Requiring amateur sport organizations to have policies and programs in place that support the inclusion of women and girls, through an updated Sport Recognition Policy.
• Requiring that recipients of funding from Ontario’s Amateur Sport Fund, which provides funding to provincial sport organizations and multi-sport organizations, now establish equal access to programming, training, coaching and governance for women and girls.
• Providing funding for the Coaches Association of Ontario to recruit and train 250 women coaches and 90 women mentors by the end of 2017, in celebration of Ontario’s 150th anniversary.
• Developing a provincial Action Plan for Equal Opportunity in Sport, with advice from the Advisory Panel on Sport, which will be presented as a model for other jurisdictions at a meeting of federal, provincial, and territorial sport ministers in Winnipeg this summer.

Improving women and girls’ participation in sport has benefits beyond the sport and recreation sector. It can lead to higher self-confidence, better grades and enhanced career opportunities. Ontario is calling on all sport organizations across the province to match the province’s commitment to promoting equal and fair opportunities for women and girls in sport and recreation.

Creating equitable and fair opportunities for women and girls in sport is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts
• March 8, 2017 is International Women’s Day.
• Of the 108 Canadian coaches at the 2014 Winter Olympics, only 11 were women.
• Last year, Ontario invested $1.3 million to advance opportunities for women and girls across the province.
• The members of the Minister’s Advisory Panel on Ontario’s Sport Plan were appointed by the government to provide advice to the Minister as Game ON is implemented.
• 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, which is an opportunity to showcase Ontario’s collective accomplishments in sports, culture and industry while establishing strong economic, social and cultural legacies across the province.
• Ontario is providing approximately $326,650 in 2017 to Coaches Association of Ontario as part of an Ontario150 Signature Initiative.

Additional Resources
• Game ON – The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan
• ON150
• Coaches Association of Ontario
• Be a champion to create an inclusive sport system


“Our government is committed to levelling the playing field between women and men — in sport, in business, and across all sectors of society. When you provide girls and women more opportunities to participate in sports, the benefits are far-reaching — from promoting self-confidence to increasing the leadership skills necessary to thrive in the workplace and beyond. Supporting equal access to athletic opportunities today is one of the best ways we have to create the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

Kathleen Wynne
Premier of Ontario

“Participating in sports and recreation can lead to a lifetime of opportunities for women and girls. Our commitment will help develop the next generation of women leaders, innovators, and role models. Ontario’s 150th year is the perfect time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished and to re-dedicate ourselves to building an inclusive and respectful province. We ask everyone involved in sport to match our commitment to create a sport system for everyone.”

Eleanor McMahon 
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

“Sport provides enormous benefits for personal growth, security and empowerment. This is an exciting, bold step towards creating more opportunities for women and girls to participate in the world of sport. I encourage sport and community leaders to hear our call to action on International Women’s Day, and commit to providing equal and fair opportunities for women and girls in sport programming, training and coaching.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris 
Minister of the Status of Women

“The Coaches Association of Ontario applauds the Premier’s announcement of funding to recruit and train more female coaches, and we commend the Ontario Government for its vision in promoting gender balance in sport. Seeing women strengthening their leadership muscles as Coaches will inspire a new generation, sustain participation, and leave a legacy for years to come.”

Susan Kitchen 
Executive Director, Coaches Association of Ontario


Story and Photo from Government of Ontario |