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The LeadForward grant opens for second intake of 2022

viaSport BC is excited to announce the opening of the LeadForward grant! LeadForward: Advancing Balanced Representation in Sport funds up to $2,000 for local, multi or provincial sport organizations to strengthen leadership for their female coaches, officials or staff. viaSport supports organizations that aim to develop diverse and inclusive leaders through training, education, or policy development opportunities. The current LeadForward grant application period runs from November 18 to December 16, 2022.

This is the second intake of the LeadForward grant in 2022. In August, eight organizations received funding for initiatives to improve opportunities for women in leadership. The August 2022 LeadForward recipients include four provincial sport organizations and four local sport organizations, with representation in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior B.C. and Northern B.C. Their programs will provide professional development opportunities for coaches and officials through activities such as mentorship, skill development, networking, and education.

For example, the Kelowna Minor Fastball Association is running a weekend leadership retreat for their female coaches which includes NCCP training and a speaker from Team Canada Softball. Its goal is to build community among their current coaches and provide development resources for their newer female head coaches. It is their hope that this will lead to increased, ongoing support and retention for coaches in their organization.

“Achieving gender equity in sport continues to be a battle,” said Kelowna Minor Fastball’s Head Coach, Jocelyn Cater. “It can be challenging for us to gain female coaches and retain them. By providing an opportunity for these coaches to learn and get excited about the game together, it allows for empowerment and motivation. Creating this space allows us to discuss some of the challenges we have faced, and what supports we need to continue to address these challenges.”

Other initiatives include a leadership conference, mentorship and development programs, and skills training. The list below outlines the organizations and initiatives from the August 2022 intake:

  • Badminton BC – Female tournament director development program
  • Basketball BC – Professional development for aspiring female coaches
  • Capital Region Female Minor Hockey Association – Female referee development program
  • Kelowna Minor Fastball Association – Weekend leadership retreat for female coaches
  • Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association – Off-axis trampoline coaching training
  • Richmond Ringette Association – Mentorship and junior official development
  • Squash BC – Female coach and official development conference
  • Volleyball BC – Retention and development program for young female referees and coaches

We are thrilled to see these organizations taking steps to improve opportunities for women in leadership. Is female leadership development a priority in your organization? Apply for a LeadForward grant to support your organization’s program, event, or initiative! Check out the LeadForward grant page for more details and the application form.