It was a truly captivating summer of sports, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship, and the U.S. Open all occurring within the span of two glorious summer months. And, despite all the COVID-related obstacles—not to mention the lack of funding, development programs, and promotion females get compared to their male counterparts—it was Canada’s women who dominated the headlines and won the awards at these events, making it a historic summer for women’s sports in the country.
And it came at the perfect time, too, with Canada witnessing an alarming trend in the decline in sport participation among adolescent girls, with a 22 percent difference in the participation rates between girls age 9 to 11 and those age 15 to 18. The successes of Canadian women this summer should inspire the next generation of female fans and athletes and bring hope that Canadian sporting institutions will see beyond the short-term gains and invest in programs similar to Canada Basketball’s Mad Love campaign to promote female sports across the country. But it should also serve as a reminder that Canada is just scratching the surface in terms of their potential on the female side, with limitless room to grow when it comes to creating homegrown professional leagues to develop Canadian women and showcase them on our television screens, because the talent and viewership is clearly already there.