Home / News / Sask Sport celebrates International Women’s Day

Sask Sport celebrates International Women’s Day

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Sask Sport celebrates women in leadership across amateur sport in the province.

Within Sask Sport’s 74 members (provincial sport organizations, member sport organizations and districts), 45 key positions are women-led including executive directors, presidents/chairs or chief executive officers.

Here is what some had to say about what International Women’s Day means.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you when it comes to sport?

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in sport while also highlighting awareness of the gaps in participation levels, media coverage, and public respect.”

  • Faye Matt, Special Olympics Chief Executive Officer

“For me, it means recognizing the impact that women mean in the sport. Our sport is filled with women who are exceptional athletes, ride leaders who give so generously of their time and women who are at the club level and are integral to the clubs functioning. We want to lift these women up and show them how important they are to our organization.”

  • Sarah Honeysett, Saskatchewan Cycling Association Executive Director

“International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate women’s achievements, recognize the challenges that women face, and embrace the 2023 Canadian theme of “Every Woman Counts”. To me as a leader in a predominantly female sport, International Women’s Day brings to the forefront the accomplishments, hard work and contributions of our many female athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, volunteers and club owners/managers.  The increased awareness of International Women’s Day is important to getting girls into sports – as participants, athletes and then as community leaders. In addition, it is a time to reflect on and acknowledge that sport brings positive psychological, physical and social benefits to young girls and women, and we need to continue striving to reduce barriers to females when it comes to participation in sport at all levels.”

  • Klara Miller, Gymnastics Saskatchewan Chief Executive Officer

“International Women’s Day when it comes to sport means an opportunity to celebrate all the accomplishments of women in the sport and to celebrate how far the sport has come in its inclusion of women at all roles. When I started my degree in Sport Marketing there was not many females in the program, now at least 40 per cent of the participants are female. We now see female administrators, officials and coaches working in professional sports leagues and our female athletes taking stands of fair treatment for themselves and their colleagues. To me, the day celebrates all the work and dedication women have put into paving the path for the next generation to have successful careers in sport, in all capacities.”

  • Bridget Pottle, Saskatchewan Lacrosse Association Executive Director

“It is a day to celebrate women and to highlight the need for equity for women in sports that includes wages, visibility, sponsorship and opportunity to progress. It is also important to share the opportunities for women in sports where they can learn and experience important values such as determination, teamwork, fair play, and respect. Sport is a powerful platform for empowering women and girls.”

  • Nicole Golden, Saskatchewan Rowing Association Executive Director & Development Officer

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognize women in sport and the impact they have. We have a number of females in leadership roles from high level coaching, officiating and at the board level. Their impact on our sport as been tremendous from being great leaders to being role models for the younger female athletes. This female leadership has allowed our athletes to feel their voices are being heard and their needs are being met.”

  • Alana Ottenbreit, Saskatchewan Ski Association Executive Director

How important is it to have women in leadership positions in sport?

“It is vital for women to see other women in leadership positions so that they can be inspired to that level themselves. Sport organizations that exemplify an inclusive culture, that share their success stories and that have the courage to make changes to ensure that women are enabled and thrive, are going to be the leaders moving forward!”

  • Nicole Golden, Saskatchewan Rowing Association Executive Director & Development Officer

“It is important to have females in leadership roles. Their guidance and leadership has helped grow our sport. The number of female athletes and the number of females athletes pursuing higher levels of training in our sport and increased in the past few years. This is due to the impact our female leadership had had on our sport in Saskatchewan.”

  • Alana Ottenbreit, Saskatchewan Ski Association Executive Director

“Women bring perspectives that are critical to planning, delivering, and growing sport. We all have work to do to move beyond the bias we hold and I look forward to seeing what will happen as we keep making progress. Take the opportunity on International Women’s Day to check in with your biases, recruit a woman coach, follow a women’s sport team on your social media, update your policies on participation or sponsorship parity, or write down a goal to make more space for women in sport!”

  • Faye Matt, Special Olympics Chief Executive Officer

“So vital to have women in leadership.  It shows the next generation of athletes that they can continue on in sport in whatever capacity they set their mind to.  By having women in leadership roles, we can inspire girls to continue on in sport for longer.”

  • Sarah Honeysett, Saskatchewan Cycling Association Executive Director

“Female sport leaders can and do inspire young girls and young women to access sport participation and thereby help them acquire key social, physical and leadership skills. As professional leaders working through challenging times, women leaders change the perception of what can be accomplished in sport. We show, by being role models, that sport can be a safe and positive space to cultivate strong identities and achieve excellence in a sport career or as athletes, coaches or administrators. Women bring value to the governance and management board table as well – we have the “power” of insight, collaboration, empathy, inclusivity and teamwork, helping everyone feel valued and respected. Kudos to all the women sport leaders.”

  • Klara Miller, Gymnastics Saskatchewan Chief Executive Officer

“It is very important to have women in leadership roles. Women bring a unique mindset to the industry, and if you want an industry to grow you can have the same people with the same ideas at the helm of it all the time. Studies are showing that women in leadership roles are taking sport companies to a whole new level of success. I am proud to be a female working in the sport industry and am even prouder of all my colleagues, my coaches, officials and super proud of all the young female athletes not taking no for an answer and making their stand.”

  • Bridget Pottle, Saskatchewan Lacrosse Association Executive Director