(Ottawa, ON) Maureen Orchard, President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, is among the outstanding women the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is recognizing today by publishing its Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity List of 2012.
CAAWS publishes its Most Influential Women List annually to celebrate and highlight Canadian women who are game changers—women who influenced sport and physical activity in Canada and on the international scene.
“Celebrating women leaders encourages women and girls, and indeed all Canadians, to look at these individuals and be inspired to lead in their own way”
“Celebrating women leaders encourages women and girls, and indeed all Canadians, to look at these individuals and be inspired to lead in their own way,” said CAAWS Executive Director Karin Lofstrom (Ottawa, Ontario). “Our goal is to create a ripple effect. For example, when a young girl reads about Tanya Dubnicoff who is now coaching at the Olympic level or Claudine Labelle who overcame a serious accident and founded FitSpirit, she gets the right message about skills that go far beyond the field of play that can be developed by participating in sport and physical activity.”
The late Sarah Burke was also selected to the CAAWS Most Influential Women List of 2012. Although the skiing pioneer died tragically in early 2012, the influence of this exceptional individual was such that she remained an inspiration throughout the year. And her legacy will remain in the future with the launch of the Sarah Burke Foundation, which will offer grants to aspiring winter sports athletes as well as raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
This is the 11th time the CAAWS Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity List is being published. Every year, the List includes athletes, officials, coaches, professors, administrators and volunteers. There are some women who have been named to the List several times, such as Caroline Assalian, Chief Sport Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee; and some who are new to the List like Loreen Barnett, Secretary General, International Triathlon Union (the Union remains the only international federation in the Olympic Games with women in the top two leadership roles, President and Secretary General). Paralympian Chantal Petitclerc and Olympian Beckie Scott have each been named to the Most Influential Women List seven times.
It is interesting to note that the 2012 List marks the third time the Canadian Women’s National Soccer Team has been selected to the CAAWS Most Influential List. Last year, they were named because of their team effort for pay equity, an issue that they resolved, but one that goes above and beyond their sport. The Women’s Soccer team was also selected in 2003 because of their performance at the World Cup—when it was noted that a certain Christine Sinclair emerged as a role model and young star on the National Team.
The CAAWS Most Influential Women List For 2012 is:
- Dr. Amirault-Ryan, Lead of Sport Psychology, Canadian Olympic Committee & Performance Consultant, Edmonton Oilers (Calgary, Alberta)
- Caroline Assalian, Chief Sport Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee, (Ottawa, Ontario)
- Loreen Barnett, Secretary General, International Triathlon Union (Vancouver, BC)
- The late Sarah Burke, Athlete, coach, mentor (Whistler, BC)
- Sandra Chénard, Official, Competition Steward and Meet Coordinator (Ottawa, Ontario)
- The team of Chandra Crawford and Marie-Hélène Thibeault, Fast and Female (Canmore, Alberta)
- Tanya Dubnicoff, Coach, Olympian (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
- Dr. Vicki Harber, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, (Edmonton, Alberta)
- Jennifer Heil, Olympian, role model, community service activist (Spruce Grove, AB)
- Clara Hughes, Olympian, advocate (Winnipeg, Manitoba / Glenn Sutton, Quebec)
- Claudine Labelle, Founder and Executive Director, FitSpirit (Montréal, Québec)
- Allison McNeill, Coach, Mentor (Surrey, BC)
- Anne Merklinger, CEO, Own the Podium (Ottawa, Ontario)
- Kelly Murumets, President and CEO, ParticipACTION (Toronto, Ontario)
- Maureen Orchard, President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation, Volunteer, Coach (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
- Chantal Petitclerc, Coach for London 2012, Chef de mission, Board member (Montréal, Québec)
- Beckie Scott, Olympian and advocate (Vermillion, Alberta)
- Mary Spencer, Athlete and volunteer (Windsor, Ontario)
- Elisabeth Walker-Young, Assistant Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Games (Vancouver, BC)
- Women’s Olympic Soccer Team (2012 team) Candace Chapman; Jonelle Filigno; Robyn Gayle; Kaylyn Kyle; Karina LeBlanc; Diana Matheson; Erin McLeod; Carmelina Moscato; Marie-Ève Nault; Kelly Parker; Sophie Schmidt; Desiree Scott; Lauren Sesselmann; Christine Sinclair; Chelsea Stewart; Melissa Tancredi; Brittany Timko; Rhian Wilkinson; and Emily Zurrer.
Each year, in addition to publishing its Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity List (MIW), CAAWS also highlights emerging leaders as Ones to Watch. For 2012, CAAWS has selected Gail Hamamoto, Executive Director of BC Wheelchair Sports Association, Volunteer (Richmond, BC) and Kaillie Humphries, Olympian and role-model (Calgary, AB) as Ones to Watch.
The final List was compiled by a CAAWS selection panel, from both public nominations and from contributions from knowledgeable sport and physical activity leaders. The panel reviewed the submissions and based its decision on accomplishment and scope of activities in the 2012 calendar year. Past Lists can be found at [here].
The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders. CAAWS provides a number of services, programs and resources to a variety of clients, including sport and physical activity organizations, teachers, coaches, athletes, volunteers, health professionals and recreation leaders. Since 1981, CAAWS has worked in close cooperation with government and non-government organizations on activities and initiatives that advocate for positive change for girls and women in sport and physical activity. For more information, visit www.caaws.ca.