Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

Can Actively Engaged Actually Create Gender Equity in Sport?

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Actively Engaged: A Policy on Sport for Women and Girls is a national policy that came into effect January 1, 2009. The main objective of this policy is to “foster sport environments—from playground to podium—where women and girls, particularly as athlete participants, coaches, technical leaders and officials, and as governance leaders are provided with: quality sport experiences; and equitable support by sport organizations” (Canadian Hertiage, 2009, p. 6). The policy aims to achieve this objective through four different policy interventions: program improvement, strategic leadership, awareness, and knowledge development. I think there are more weaknesses than strengths to this policy.


  • Includes a monitoring and evaluation section
  • Acknowledges that there are cultural barriers to participation
  • Has become part of the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework


  • Lack of integration across the sport system
    • There was no mention of collaboration with the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity
    • The policy isn’t mentioned in or supported by the 2012 Canadian Sport Policy
  • Some language is vague and misleading
  • Lack of promotion/media attention surrounding policy’s release
  • Not enough women involved in the creation of this policy
  • Canadian sport system still prioritizes elite sport, so women and girls at the grassroots level will have a hard time seeing any benefits
  • There has been no follow up with how often it claims the policy will be evaluated

Overall, I think that this policy will not create the change it promises, and thus needs to be rewritten.


Canadian Heritage. (2009). Actively Engaged: A Policy on Sport for Women and Girls. Retrieved from

One thought on “Can Actively Engaged Actually Create Gender Equity in Sport?

  1. I enjoyed your post! I had never heard of the policy before I read this article. I gave the policy a read, and I thought there were more flaws and weaknesses than positives. So, I agree that it should be looked over again and either built on or re-written. First of all, the policy came into effect in 2009, and the last one that was made was in 1986. Why is it taking us this long to write these policies? For females and sport, the issues and attention surrounding the lack of everything in this regard, is huge!

    I enjoyed your post! It gave me motivation to look into this further.


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