Guelph athlete shares her experience in sports to inspire others
KITCHENER -- Playing sports can have a positive impact on youth, teaching valuable life lessons that go beyond the game.
But according to Canadian Women & Sport, one in three girls drop out of sports in adolescence, compared to one in 10 boys.
“Which tell us that there are some unique factors at play for girls in sport. and the more we can understand them, and the more we can support girls to participate and to stay longer, the more we'll all reap the benefits,” said Allison Sandmeyer-Graves the organization's CEO.
Lisa Wedel, the co-captain of Guelph Gryphons Women's Volleyball Team, wanted to share her journey in sport through the Canadian Women & Sport's "She's Got It All" campaign to give people a first-hand account of the challenges.
For example an experience she had two years ago when getting ready for practice, a male athlete not wanting to leave the gym told her to "calm down...you are playing a women’s sport in Canada."
“There is a problem and that it needs to be fixed,” said Wedel. “But I think at the individual level, kind of check your thoughts; you know challenge your beliefs because the traditional expectations of women...it's just not true.
Wedel said she turned the negative comment into motivation, keeping it as a Post-It note on her laptop to this day.
According to Sandmeyer-Graves, the campaign is really aiming to go beyond the statistics and really seek to understand what the experience is so they can better support female athletes.
“It’s important to know how they are feeling and what their perspective is,” said Scott McRoberts, the Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph. “It allows for change, it allows for positive discussion.”
Wedel hopes by sharing her story she can inspire future female athletes, and that we all have a role to play when it comes to creating change and equality.
For more information on the She’s Got It All campaign, visit womenandsport.ca.