SASKATOON – Girl power reigned Sunday afternoon at Saskatoon’s SaskTel Sport Centre after 77 girls participated in the third annual Active Like a Girl event. The girls, aged 10 to 14, were invited to try new sports including soccer, floor hockey, and wheelchair basketball. They were also put through fun cardio drills.
“Work hard, have fun, and follow your dreams. The most important part about it is to understand that if you’re serious about following your dreams there is going to be bumps along the way. There is going to be setbacks. If you want your dreams to come true you just have to keep grinding,” says Erica Gavel, Parapan Am silver medalist in wheelchair basketball.
Past activities at the event included rugby, fencing, and football as organizers wanted to show the girls unique sports they might not otherwise play at school.
The key is to find a sport they’re passionate about.
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“At this stage it is all about getting out and playing. At this age I didn’t compete in my sport so it’s about learning all different skills and body awareness. Trying to find something you’re passionate about whether it’s to go to the Olympics or its to play on a social sport for the rest of your life,” says Deidra Dionne, an Olympic bronze medalist in freestyle aerial ski.
It also provides the girls with role models of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. The girls were coached by world class Olympians and Parapan Am athletes who shared their stories and love for sports.
“What a wonderful opportunity for all of these young women to come out here and just have an awesome day trying new sports. Hopefully they will be instilled to be active for life and they’ll be inspired to get active on their own time,” says Colleen Sostorics, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in women’s ice hockey.
Organizers say as girls enter their early teen years they are most likely to drop out of organized sports. This camp gets them active and trying new sports to hopefully renew their interest.
“Getting kids active especially at the most vulnerable ages where they’re most likely not to continue in sport, especially at the 14 years of age,” said soccer volunteer Tiffany Plower.
The event is hosted by the City of Saskatoon’s community development division and partners.
Organizers hope to expand the event to include other cities so all girls can stay active and find the sport they’re passionate about.
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