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Letter From The Chair

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

Full disclosure, LUWIS was a plan B after a previous internship fell through due to the pandemic. What started as a compilation of small ideas and plans that were never meant to be carried out, grew into a platform that has an unprecedented range of opportunity for female students.

This past school year, I played an active role in Laurentian’s Intramural league as an employee and participant (basketball and ultimate frisbee)! It genuinely saddened me to see the few female students participating in co-ed Intramurals. At a first glance, I can understand why female students, especially new members of Laurentian may have felt intimidated and not willing to step outside their comfort zone. I’ve seen both sides… a team willing to play down a player because they couldn’t find a female player to join and then a basketball team defending an all-girls shift, who was in complete awe and made comments such as “who do we guard if they are all girls”.

Realistically, its not an inclusive environment for female participants and I find it completely unfair that this supresses them from obtaining the physical, mental and social health benefits associated with physical activity. This is what ultimately inspired me to develop the Laurentian University Women in Sport (LUWIS) program.

There is an apparent void in recreational sport settings that needs to be filled; and filled by females specifically. I knew that starting an intramural league for all students who identify as female was not going to cut it. I believe that part of the reason for low participation rates in physical activity among female university students is due to limited access to female-focused educational resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique opportunity to create a virtual community of empowered females to be educated, motivated and inspired to pave the pathway they deserve in the sport industry whether that be as a regular exerciser, elite athlete, coach, or occupation within the sport field. Another objective I had for the program was I wanted to create an executive team that affords female students an opportunity to gain experience in leadership positions while obtaining school credits (approved internship).

The scope of the program has gone beyond any expectations I originally had. I am truly grateful for the immense amount of support and encouragement I’ve received in pursuit of this entrepreneurial opportunity from friends, family, the SGA and Laurentian University. However, the exponential growth of the program would not be possible if it weren’t for the additional nine Executive Team Members. Its incredible to witness their passion, work ethic, initiative and advocacy for females in the sport industry. They bring so much creativity and innovation which is why I am not worried for the continuance of LUWIS beyond my graduation in the spring. There is a bright future for not only this program but the representation of women in sport.


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