Celebration of Women & Girls!

Canadian female coaches and curlers got together last year at the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops, B.C., for a Girls Rock event. (Photo, Curling Canada/Jamie Allen)

National Girls and Women in Sports Day pays tribute to female athletes

Canadian curling has been at the forefront of gender equality in sports and is joining today’s celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day.

“As  a curling athlete and as a member of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors, I take a great deal of pride in knowing our sport shares the values that are such a big part of today’s celebrations,” said Laura Walker, a former Canadian Mixed Doubles and Canadian Under-21 Women’s champion who joined Curling Canada’s Board of Governors last fall. “There is so much value to being involved in sports, and I can speak from my experience, both as a youth curler and still competing today with Olympic aspirations, that it has played a major role in making me who I am today.”

While Feb. 7 marks the official celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day, as well as the official launch of Curling Canada’s Girls Rock program, Curling Canada is committed year-round to the goals and ambitions that are being talked about today.

Among Curling Canada’s policies related to gender equity are the following:

  • Even split by gender for Sport Canada funding cards, and equal numbers of male and female athletes in National Team Program
  • Equal prize money at all Curling Canada events
  • Equal formats for both genders at national championship events
  • Equal amount of broadcast time at Season of Champions televised events, as well as at live-streamed non-Season of Champions events.

“Curling Canada is fortunate in that there is a culture in our sport that sees the benefits of gender equality, and that’s in large part thanks to partners such as Kruger Products, as well as the commitment of coaches, athletes, volunteers and donors,” said Nolan Thiessen, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. “Those partnerships are important and valued, and will continue to guide us as we move forward.”

The Girls Rock program is being offered on a national basis for the first time this season. Girls Rock, which gives girls ages 9-16 a chance to try the sport for the first time with instruction from female athletes and coaches, made its debut led by the Women Curling Leaders’ Circle (WCLC) at the 2022 BKT Tires World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George, B.C.

This season, Curling Canada offered financial assistance to its Member Associations to offer the program within their own provinces and territories. Twelve Member Associations — the Yukon Curling Association, the Northwest Territories Curling Association, Curl B.C., Curling Alberta, CurlManitoba, CurlON, the Northern Ontario Curling Association, Curling Quebec, the New Brunswick Curling Association, the Nova Scotia Curling Association, Curl P.E.I., and the Newfoundland and Labrador Curling Association — are staging Girls Rock events. Registration links are available by CLICKING HERE

Curling Alberta’s event, set for Feb. 17 at the Calgary Curling Club, is being coordinated by Curling Alberta and the WCLC, and will be staged on the opening weekend of the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championship in Calgary.

“It really is a privilege to participate in an event such as Girls Rock and know that it can have an impact that will last a lifetime,” said 2010 Olympic silver-medallist Cori Morris, who’ll be instructing at the Calgary Girls Rock event. “Our sport has so many opportunities for young athletes to shine and gain confidence, and Girls Rock is a wonderful way to get that journey started.”

Many of Canada’s top curlers and their children are serving as influencers for National Girls & Women in Sports Day — not only to celebrate their own stories but also those of their kids.

“Curling has been such an important part of my life and it’s given me the opportunity to grow as an athlete, as a woman and as a parent,” said Kerry Galusha of Yellowknife, who’ll be playing in her 16th Scotties Tournament of Hearts representing the Northwest Territories later this month in Calgary. “I see how my daughter Sydney carries herself on a sheet of curling ice, and I see her confidence growing with every game. That’s what our sport can do for young athletes.”

“It makes me proud to be involved in a sport that offers equal pathways to success and lifelong enjoyment to both girls and boys,” added 2010 Olympic gold-medallist Marc Kennedy. “My wife Nicole and I know that our daughters Aubrey and Brechan can start their curling careers, if they choose, on the same level and with the same opportunities as boys, and all of us in curling can take pride in that.”

You can show your support for young Girls in Sport programs through donations and learning by CLICKING HERE.

Curling Canada