Women and Girls in Water Polo!

Mar. 12, 2018

Photos: (clockwise from left): 2015 Pan Am silver medallists Claire and Emma Wright, 2017 Team Ontario women; Karen Gibson, 1991 World Championships Silver Medallist; Rachael Jaffee, Sr. National Team; Ana Miroslavic, UofT Varsity Blues and Golden Jets; Triggerfish and Mavericks Water Polo women, Senior National Team player Claire Wright.

Ontario Water Polo (OWP) is committed to promoting the participation and interests of Water Polo in Ontario. One of OWP’s strategic goals relates to growing the sport in Ontario, specifically focusing on supporting the participation of girls and women.


Goal 4 - Program Initiatives for Target Areas (OWP Strategic Goals & Program): 
Focus on women in sport initiative for existing female athletes, coaches and referees.


As discussed in many sport organizations including the Women’s Sport Foundation, girls and women are identified as being a major underrepresented focus group across a variety of sports at large. Despite the many holistic benefits to physical activity and sport, they are identified as having higher dropout rates and lower opportunities for training as compared to their male counterparts, lacking positive role models, as well as experiencing social barriers to participation such as stigmas and body confidence (CAAWS - The Status of Female Sport Participation in Canada).

As part of OWP’s goal topromote and support women athletes, coaches and referees in water polo, OWP isoffering a partnership opportunity to assist Ontario member clubs during theWinter and Spring 2018 season. The purpose of this partnership is to supportthe program, promotional, and retention efforts of girls throughout the variouswater polo clubs in Ontario.

Ideas for promoting and supporting women andgirls in Ontario clubs include:

  • Funding for coaching and referee training
  • Programming support for women and girls (ie. pool space, literacy and performance clinics, etc.)
  • Promotional support for women and girls (ie. social media, recreation & leisure promo, newspaper/newsletter, tournament and/or team photos, etc.)
  • Women and girl’s advocacy days


Resources for speakers and training: Fast and Female, Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS).

Nutrition, Mental Healthand Sport Psychology supports (ie. eating for performance workshops and/orprograms, etc.)

Equipment (ie. girl’s promotional equipment, new balls, etc.).

Mentorship programs

To be considered for grant appropriation, clubsmust submit applications to OWP including the following information:

1. Ontario Water Polo club name and contact information

2. Outlineof partnership plan including:

  • Description of targeted age groups or teams for grant use
  • Clearly stated objectives of initiatives to be pursued
  • Plan for implementation (including the resources and supports required)
  • Specific timelines identifying the start and finish of the plan

3. Project budget

4. Indication of funding from other sources


Completed partnership applications received by qualifying OWP member clubs prior to the deadline will be vetted and awards will be based on merit and the proposed use of funds.


Funding Notes and Guidelines:

  • OWP does not fund individuals or individual sponsorship requests, golf or fundraising tournaments, or travel costs.
  • Please note that clubs must have met all the requirements of previous OWP funding before they are eligible to apply for this partnership opportunity.


Clubs are expected to measure the impact of their plan and report on overall outcomes resulting from this partnership opportunity. The follow-up report deadline will be noted following partnership recipient announcements.


*** As women and girls in sport are identified as an underrepresented focus group in the sporting community, OWP is encouraging clubs to promote their activities both online and within their community. Additionally, if your club would like increased promotion of your plans, please send any material for OWP to showcase as well!


Applications are due by April 30, 2018, and are to be emailed to: director_szpara@ontariowaterpolo.ca



Additional Resources:

Advancing Opportunities for Women and Girls in Sport - Ontario action plan



Canadian Association for the Advancement ofWomen in Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) - abundance of research articles,publications, events and action plans for women in sport



Game ON - The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan



Sport Canada - overview of policy frameworks - https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html

Women’s Sport Foundation  - https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/