Have you heard about CAAWS? CAAWS is short for the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity.

CAAWS is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981 CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity.

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CAAWS Digital Footprint

Website: http://www.caaws.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAAWS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/caaws
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3370478/profile 

CAAWS Women and Sport Event

In honour of Ontario and Canada’s 150th anniversary, this event is designed to provoke thought, spark connections, build capacity, and mobilize commitment to further change. ”A Celebration of Women and Sport” will usher in the next 150 years on a wave of inspiration and action for equity in sport. All those with an interest in the advancement of women and sport are invited, including administrators, coaches, athletes, university students, academics, and more. With a mix of breakout sessions, plenary presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities, there is something for everyone.

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Working Schedule & Session Descriptions

1:00 to 2:00 PM – Registration, Networking, Exhibits
2:00 to 2:20 PM – Welcoming remarks
2:20 to 2:40 PM – Transition to breakout sessions
2:40 to 3:50 – Breakout Sessions (concurrent)

Keeping girls in sport:

  • Explore some of the key bumps and roadblocks along the long-term athlete development pathway for girls and young women, and take away practical advice for adapting approaches to create greater engagement. Presented by Sydney Millar (CAAWS Lead for Canadian Sport for Life).

Women in sport leadership:

  • Learn about practical approaches drawn from across sectors and industries for moving more women into leadership roles. Presented by Sophie Brière (Université Laval) with Guylaine Demers (Professor, Université Laval).

Women in coaching:

  • Explore mentorship as a strategy for advancing female coaches, with the opportunity to hear about two current initiatives that offer models to adopt. Facilitated by Gretchen Kerr (Vice-Dean, Kinesiology, University of Toronto) with guests Isabelle Cayer (Coaching Consultant, Coaching Association of Canada) and Susan Kitchen (Executive Director, Coaches Association of Ontario).

Addressing LGBTQ-phobia in sport

  • Increase your understanding of the barriers faced by LGBTQ-identified people in sport, and learn tangible steps you can take to help make sport more inclusive and welcoming for all.
  • Facilitated by Jennifer Birch-Jones (CAAWS Lead for LGBTQ inclusion) with Christine Hsu (Sport Inclusion Program Officer, Egale Canada) and Rosie Cossar (Coordinator, Sport Inclusion, COC).

Research in action

  • Connect with researchers and ideas that have the potential to impact the future of women and sport, with consideration given to how to strengthen the link between research and practice.
  • Facilitated by Cheri Bradish (Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing, Ryerson University) with guests.

3:50 to 4:15 PM – Transition to Main Presentations, Exhibits, Networking & Refreshments

4:15 to 6:00 PM – Main Presentations

Body image, self-confidence and the sport drop-out phenomenon amongst adolescent girls—from research insights to practical solutions.

  • Moderated by Allison Sandmeyer-Graves (CEO, CAAWS) with Catherine Sabiston (Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health, University of Toronto), Bess Lennox (Coordinator, Sport Programming, MLSE Launchpad) and Lise Jubinville (Manager, Coaching, Softball Canada)

Intergenerational Perspectives

  • Listen in on a conversation that will highlight the progress made for women in sport—particularly in leadership—and will reflect on where we can go from here.
  • With perspectives from Thérése Quigley (Athletic Director (retired), Western University), Rosie MacLennan (Two-time Olympian, Trampoline), and more.


Initiatives Showcase

Participants have the chance to connect with a handful of organizations and initiatives that are expanding opportunities for girls and women in sport and physical activity through our special showcase at the event:

  • Canadian Olympic Committee #OneTeam
  • Coaches Association of Ontario
  • Egale Canada
  • Fast and Female
  • Fuelling Women Champions
  • Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • MLSE Launchpad


Event Partner


University of Toronto Kinesiology