Housten Secondary School Athletics
Organized and promoted intramurals program and encouraged over 50 girls to sign up for floor hockey and other traditionally male dominated sports; her motivation of other girls and her personal athletic success has raised the profile of girls’ athletics at Houston Secondary.
Vanier Secondary School, Courtenay
A 3 time national wrestling champion who tirelessly coaches other young girls and manages the senior wrestling team; she has motivated other girls to take up wrestling and has maintained a high academic standard.
Aboriginal Sport/Rec Association
Chair of Program Development on the Board of Aboriginal Sport/Rec Association and Chair of the Aboriginal Sport Centre, a Vancouver Island regional rep, mission staff for Aboriginal Team BC and a community youth and cultural worker who assists in developing more programs for girls and women in Sport/Rec. association as well as being a positive role model for other girls and women.
BC Women & Karate
BC Women & Karate has emerged as a voice that has raised the profile of women within karate by both promoting their achievements, ensuring that opportunities exist for female participation and recognition, and encouraging women of all ages to participate at all levels.
Osteofit Program at BC Women’s Hospital
Osteofit Program at BC Women’s Hospital is a community based exercise and educational program designed specifically for older women with osteoporosis; it is currently offered at 24 centres around the province and 36 are planned by the end of 1999.
Merritt Secondary School
Physical Education Department
Merritt Secondary School Physical Education Department decided four years ago to separate the junior PE classes with the purpose of promoting more activity among the female students, they have had a dramatic increase in the participation and energy levels from girls and have motivated girls from different ethnic groups to become more active.
The North Shore News, Sports Editor
Andrew McCredie, features a weekly highlight of female and male high school athletes which increases the profile of girls’ sport to the community and emphasizes the importance of sports for high school girls.
Rachel is a youth leader at the Thunderbird Community Centre in Vancouver. On Tuesday and Thursday nights, Rachel leads a floor hockey program for girls ages 6-11 and 1-15. The program has been running for 3 years and has grown from 10 girls the first year to 30 girls this year. The program combines one night of hockey and one night a social activity. In individual and group settings, Rachel listens, gives encouragement and has patience with the girls participating in her program. Rachel goes an extra step by phoning the girls to personally invite them to join in the program and to ensure they arrive and get home safely. In addition, Rachel runs programs for children and their parents at the community centre and is looked up to by participants and staff. Rachel has overcome many challenges in her life, and from each she gains understanding which she passes on to those around her.
Bev is a grade 12 student at Hatzic Secondary School in Mission. She has played basketball from grades 8 to 12, coached the junior girls basketball team for 2 years, managed the volleyball team for 3 years, and is the head volleyball referee at her school.
Always willing to step in and help, Bev rarely says “no” when asked for her assistance. This is a challenge for her as she juggles coaching, playing, refereeing, volunteering, and of course her academic course load. Bev is a strong role model for girls at her school. She is a referee, a role we do not see many females in, especially at the provincial level. There are now quite a few girls getting involved in refereeing because of Bev. Bev talks to the younger girls and encourages them to get involved in sport and more importantly, leads by example.
Alexandra Guarascio of Burnaby, lost her forearm in an accident at age two and wore a prothesis while swimming up until her break through year with the Hyack Swim Club in 1997. She then began swimming without it, a great challenge, and has been successful at numerous competitions:
1997 Canadian National Championships – gold in 200 BK, silver in 100 BK, bronze in 100 Fly
1997 US Nationals Championships – gold in 100 BR, silver in 100 BK, 100 Fly, 200 IM & bronze in 50 FR & 100 FR
1997 Canada Games – gold in 200 IM, and silver in 50 FR & 100 BK
At 13, Alexandra is currently a member of the Hyack Swim Club. She has proven to be a role model for girls striving for excellence and for athletes with a disability, demonstrating that she can do anything and she has her goals set high – the 2000 Olympics.
Dorothy was the Team BC Operations Manager for the 1997 North American Indigenous Games, organizing headquarters, accommodations, and registration for 900 Team BC athletes, coaches and chaperones. Dorothy was also the only full time staff other than the Chef de Missions 1 year before the games organizing the vent and Team BC. In addition, she also found time to participate in the 5000m and play 2 soccer games. Dorothy is also a level 3 NCCP coach.
Dorothy’s Team BC work has opened the door for many young aboriginal girls in BC who never had the opportunity to participate in sport in the past. As a recent player and coach she provides leadership and is a role model to many young female soccer players. Dorothy has become a spokesperson for female aboriginals who continue to struggle to have the opportunity to participate in all levels of sport.
Jenny has devoted the past 20 years to the development of field hockey for young women and girls throughout British Columbia. She has conducted numerous player, coach and umpire clinics. There is not a field hockey person in BC who has not benefited from her expertise.
Jenny has acted as an excellent role model as an ex-national player and coach. Through her enthusiasm she has instilled a love for the game of field hockey in all participants, many whom are not playing at the Masters level. Jenny never takes no for an answer, but instead always comes up with suggestions to address problems such as using tennis courts where there are no facilities for practice, thereby adapting the game to suit the conditions.
Vancouver was awarded Women’s Health Centre Status in a Health Canada competition of 25 submissions to establish only 5 centers across Canada. The centre is set out to improve the health of women by fostering innovative, multi-disciplinary action research on health policy, women’s health initiatives, and women centered programs. The Centre has supported physical activity as an important factor in creating meaningful change in women’s health and supported research projects involving physical activity.
By including physical activity on the agenda, the field will have the opportunity to complete a handbook in the area of health and physical recreation for low income women, conduct a literature review on the social determinants of health for women, research the topic of adolescent women and provide them with tangible and practical implementation ideas to directly influence the women of our communities.
Abreast in a Boat is a dragon boat team of women who came together as part of a study to test the physical effects of exercise on breast cancer survivors. The women have now become athletes in their own right and have just traveled to New Zealand to compete in an International Dragon Boat competition. While in New Zealand the women spoke to support groups, the cancer society and oncology physicians about their experience as breast cancer survivors and the effects of exercise in their recovery.
These women faced one of the greatest barriers because as breast cancer survivors they had been restricted by their cautious physicians and health care workers “don’t lift more than 10 to 15 lbs, don’t do anything that requires repetitive upper body motion, don’t lift your arms above your head.”
With statistics showing that 1 in 9 women will develop the disease, it is important for women to understand the role that physical activity and sport can play in prevention and recovery. These women are great role models and an inspiration to all girls and women. Their message is simple: a breast cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence, and it doesn’t have to diminish one’s quality of life.
Through his writing, Steve Ewen has overcome traditional and historical barriers to tell the stories of girls and women in sport. Steve writes for the Province sections “School Zones” on high school sports and “Campus Corner” on university athletics. In Steve’s features, a full 40% of his stories are on girls and women where he covers amateur “traditional” and “non-traditional” sports for women. His efforts have not gone unnoticed at the paper as the Province has increased their high school section to twice a week.
Steve’s work encourages girls and women in sport by sharing their stories and showing that they are worthy of public interest and admiration. Girls and women can look to the sport pages and see the accomplishments of other women athletes, learn about their stories and successes and find role models for themselves. Where you often find only 5% of coverage on women’s sports in the papers, Steve is always conscious of a gender balance between stories. He challenges the misconceptions that women’s sport and athletics are not interesting enough, not competitive enough and not in demand.