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ViaSport aims to Level The Field for Female Athletes

A not-for-profit organization is trying to get more girls into the game.

ViaSport BC is launching a new campaign called #LevelTheField to try and make sports more inclusive for women, while addressing the inequality of funding and support between boys and girls programs.

“It’s really around promoting changes that make sport more accessible [and] more relevant for women & girls on the field” said ViaSport CEO Sheila Bouman.

According to the Canadian Olympic Committee, only 4% of girls in Canada currently reach the recommended level of daily exercise.

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#LevelTheField will provide a series of tools, templates and workshops to sport organizations across the province in the interest of implementing gender equity policies and action plans.

The campaign also aims to address a lack of female representation in leadership roles.

“One of the things that strikes me the most is the few number of women that are in coaching or officiating roles” said Bouman. “We had less that 20% women coaches at the 2012 Olympics in London, and only 9% at the Paralympics.”

Adding to the problem is a lack of strong mentors for young female athletes according to Bouman.

“If you are a young and aspiring athlete, male or female, and you don’t have strong, positive role models coaching you… it sends a message” said Bouman.

In its later stages, #LevelTheField will also aim to address issues of accessibility, affordability and diversity in provincial sports programs.

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