2019 Women in Sport and Leadership Forum

Transforming Passion into Practice

This event is intended to bring together leaders in the non-profit sport sector to discuss and share triumphs and struggles on the path to developing gender equity in sport. The time for change is now: In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a target to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035, and committed $30 million to support these efforts. There is an appetite within the industry for movement on gender equity initiatives. However, progressive change often falls on the shoulders of one or two key stakeholders in any given club.

The purpose of this event is to bring together sport management scholars and industry practitioners to discuss the real issues faced when sport organizations create and operationalization gender equity plans. Further, the event provides an opportunity to forge networks of like-minded individuals who will champion gender equity initiatives and create a working plan to help promote gender equity initiatives taking place in the Niagara Region and beyond.

Date: Thursday November 21, 2019
Location: Goodman School of Business Atrium, Brock University

Goodman Atrium Brock University

Registration, Coffee, and Networking 8:45 a.m.

  • Keynote Address – Katrina Galas, Global Sport Strategist, In Common Consulting 9:30 a.m.
  • Presentation 1 – CAAWS, What is Gender Equity? Introduction of the Same Game Project Model 10:30 a.m.
  • Workshop 1 – Sport Management Researchers, Navigating Data Collection 11:30 a.m.

Lunch 12:45 p.m.

  • Workshop 2 – Sport Management Researchers, Creating buy-in and changing culture1:45 p.m.

Break 2:30 p.m.

  • Presentation 2 – Sport Club Exemplar (Ontario Basketball), We have a Champion/Funding… Now What? Promoting Buy-in We have a Champion/Funding… Now What? Promoting Buy-in 2:45 p.m.
  • Mapping a plan 3:45 p.m.
  • Wrap-up 4:30 p.m.
  • Social (Brock University Women’s Hockey Games) 7:00 p.m.

Social Event: Please join us after the Forum in supporting the Brock University Women’s Hockey team as they take on the University of Waterloo Warriors. Tickets to game are included in your registration. There is also a restaurant onsite at Seymour Hannah arena where they play. There will also a donation box to generate funds to support the Brock women’s hockey program. All funds go to the team.

Please contact Matthew Kapogines for more information at mk16et@brocku.ca

Keynote Speaker Katrina Galas, Global Sport Strategist, In Common Consulting

katrina galas

Katrina Galas is an athlete at heart, and a global sport strategist in life. She is a believer in the significance and power of sport and its ability to be both a positive business driver and catalyst to sustained social impact. Currently, she is a recreational hockey player, amateur tennis player, aspiring road cyclist, and a global sport strategist that looks to accelerate the impact that sport is capable of by helping organizations uncover and implement purposeful alignment of social and business objectives.

After working directly within the women’s sport space, she believes it remains an untapped resource to achieving impactful business outcomes and she strives to contribute to moving the needle forward in this space, recognizing the momentum that is emerging right now in the industry. With a mindset that prioritizes bringing academics and industry closer together through joint research and commentary, a new perceived strength will emerge to set a new standard for the integration and belief in women’s sport…but only if we all work together, collaborate with one another, and show up for each other, as if we were on the same sports team!

 Follow Katrina on Twitter:


Lindsay Walsh – Ontario Basketball Association

As a former varsity basketball athlete (University of Alberta, University of New Brunswick), Lou experienced firsthand both the opportunities and challenges of women in sport. Lou is the Senior Director of Basketball Development at Ontario Basketball. In addition to her senior executive position at Ontario Basketball, Lou is among the 10% of women who comprise basketball officials at the university-level in Canada. Since her tenure at Ontario Basketball, a top priority for Lou has been engaging girls and women in sport, with the ultimate goal being the achievement of activeness for life for all. Notable initiatives lead by Lou thus far include the creation of an annual high school symposium for young women, which provides 50 high school students with the opportunity to be mentored by female leaders within the basketball community. In recognizing the challenges faced by female officials as an official herself, Lou leveraged provincial funding to host and support an all-female officiating camp for 30 new officials across Ontario, to attend on- and off- court sessions lead by 10 of the most experienced university women officials in the province. The camp created an environment where women openly discussed the challenges of operating within a male dominated culture of basketball, in addition to facilitating important networking opportunities. In partnership with the Canadian Sport Institute of Ontario, since 2013 Lou has obtained funding to establish a women’s high performance strategy to build capacity with female coaches and technical leaders. Significantly, these initiatives have lead to the selection and hiring of all female coaching staff for female provincial teams. Lou combines her professional training as an educator (Bachelor of Education, University of New Brunswick) and background in Sports Psychology (Master of Human Kinetics, University of Windsor) to improve and enrich the experiences of girls and women in basketball via mentorship across communities of athletes, coaches, and officials, at varying levels of skill.

Greer Gemin – CAAWS

Greer GeminGreer Gemin is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS). Previously, she has pitched, developed, and promoted multimedia content for organizations such as the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Women’s Development Centre in Kandy, Sri Lanka. She graduated from Carleton University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Journalism and Women’s and Gender Studies.

A long-time artistic swimmer and coach, Greer is indebted to a strong community of women leaders. She is invested in finding ways that sport, storytelling, and community-building can intersect to create a more equitable world.

Alex Grey – CAAWS

Alex Grey is the Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).  His passion is understanding consumers and building breakthrough communication that motivates consumers to act.

His professional experience includes building some of the world’s most beloved brands at two of the world’s largest advertising agencies, working in sales and marketing at CTV on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and helping to improve consumer’s lives by managing brands such as Coppertone, ALEVE, and Flintstones.

A big sports fan, you can find Alex happiest when coaching his eight year old daughter’s and five year old son’s softball teams.  He cannot wait to begin working with CAAWS to advance its mission of creating an inclusive sport and physical activity system.

Dr. Shannon Kerwin – Brock University

Dr. Kerwin teaches and conducts research in the areas of organizational behaviour and human resource management in sport. Specifically, Dr. Kerwin has looked at how personal and organizational values align to enhance important organizational outcomes, the role of conflict in the effectiveness of volunteer boards of directors, and how leadership is developed and fostered within the context of team/organizational culture.

Dr. Michele Donnelly – Brock University

I have three clearly defined, and often interrelated, lines of inquiry that inform both my research and teaching: 1) Social inequality (i.e., gender issues; Olympic and international sport federation policy and governance; athlete-driven sport organizations) Ongoing projects in this area focus on gender equality in the Olympic Movement and at the Olympic Games, as well as in the governance of provincial, national, and international sport organizations. In addition, I study athlete governance, particularly in emerging sports such as roller derby. 2) Alternative sports and subcultures (i.e., roller derby, skateboarding) Ongoing projects in this area focus on girls and women onlyness, and particularly the organization and production of girls and women onlyness in sport and physical activity organizations such as girls-only skateboarding groups. 3) Qualitative research methods (i.e., research ethics, politics of research).

I not only use qualitative methods in my research, I also study research ethics and the politics of research with respect to qualitative methods. And, I serve on the university’s Social Sciences Research Ethics Board.

Dr. Dawn Trussell – Brock University

My transdisciplinary research examines the socio-cultural aspects of performance in sport and leisure in the lives of children, youth, and families, with an aim to build more inclusive communities. I seek to understand issues of power and social inclusion with a focus on concepts such as stigmatization, disadvantaged identities and the implications on mental, emotional, and physical well-being. My work has a social justice orientation to enact positive social change and is funded by Sport Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. I have served as the Vice-President/Treasurer for the Canadian Association for Leisure Studies since 2014.

Dr. Katie Lebel – Ryerson University

Dr. Katie Lebel is an Assistant Professor in TRSM’s Department of Retail Management. She earned her PhD at The University of Western Ontario and began her academic career in New York City. Dr. Lebel’s research agenda is focused around gender equity in sport with a particular focus on branding and consumer behaviour. This work has resulted in several publications as well as consulting opportunities with both athletes and sport organizations.

Dr. Ann Pegoraro – Laurentian University

Dr. Ann Pegoraro is a Full Professor in the School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health at Laurentian University. A holder of BA, MBA, and PhD degrees, Ann is also the Director of the Institute for Sport Marketing, a research centre at Laurentian. She is an active researcher, who has presented at international conferences and published in refereed management journals in the areas of marketing, communications, digital media and sport management. Her research primarily focuses on marketing and communication with a focus on the digital world. Ann is also a life-long sports enthusiast, transitioning from playing to coaching and now teaching and sharing her knowledge and experience where possible. She is a board member of the True Sport Foundation and the Northern Water Sports Centre and has consulted with amateur sport organizations in Canada and abroad. Ann is passionate about contributing to sport in Canada and ensuring access for future generations.

Presentation 1 – CAAWS
CAAWS will define gender equity and inclusion and outline the Same Game Project gender equity model. Attendees will have a chance to discuss the steps within the model and any initiatives that have been encountered in the industry and ask questions about funding and/or participation in the Same Game Project.

Workshop 1 – Sport Management Researchers
Drs. Katie Lebel, Ann Pegoraro, and Shannon Kerwin, Michele K. Donnelly and Dawn Trussell will outline the current research around data collection regarding women and girls in sport and leadership. Attendees will be asked to reflect on data collection strategies they have used or are interested in when starting a gender equity initiative.

Presentation 2 – Sport Club Exemplar As an experienced leader in gender equity initiatives in her role with Ontario Basketball, Lindsay Walsh (Senior Director, Basketball Development), as will foster a discussion that highlights best practices, triumphs, and struggles when it comes to conceptualizing, planning, and implementing gender equity strategies in sport.

Workshop 2 – Sport Management Researchers
Drs. Michele K. Donnelly and Dawn Trussell will outline the current research around the climate for social change toward gender equity initiatives. Attendees will be asked to reflect on the societal barriers that may contribute to “gaining buy-in” with respect to gender equity initiatives as well as methods to create forward movement in changing the culture of sport towards gender equity.

Mapping a Plan
Each attendee will join a group, lead by a topic-specific researcher, and work together to develop a plan to move forward with the steps of the Same Game Project (CAAWS model).

Register Now

If you are interested in potentially supporting this event, please contact Matthew Kapogines for more information about sponsorship opportunities at mk16et@brocku.ca