CAAWS (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity) 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” (Web-page: About CAAWS – Vision, Mission and Values).
If you are unfamiliar with the work that CAAWS does, I suggest browsing their website, which contains information on their leadership programs (Women and Leadership; Aboriginal Women and Leadership; Women on Boards), grants and recognition, as well as programming (Canadian Sport for Life; Addressing Homophobia in Sport; Ethno-Cultural Diversity) – among other things.
Did you know that separate from CAAWS, there are very few advocacy groups dedicated to the advancement of women, girls, and transgender individuals in sport throughout Canada? For those who are engaged in this work, it is mostly happening in silos or by individuals. Sometimes the work is connected to an event like the Pan Am Games and Pride House Toronto. Developing coalitions and interest groups is what’s needed, and CAAWS is very much the blueprint for that.
CAAWS’ Fuelling Women Champions survey is part of a research study with the aim of developing a first-hand understanding of women’s and girl’s sport in Canada. Fuelling Women Champions is a new national, multi-year initiative spearheaded by Canada’s dairy farmers and CAAWS with the goal to improve the state of women’s sport in Canada.