In the aftermath of the FIFA Women’s World Cup’s amazing success in Vancouver, the provincial government has announced they will create a $100,000 legacy fund to encourage more girls and women to join the sport of soccer.
“An investment of $100,000 will be used to specifically encourage more girls and women to take part in coaching and refereeing soccer at all levels of competition around the province,” said the province in a statement issued Wednesday.
The fund will help to increase the participation of females in coaching and referring positions in the sport, a demographic currently underrepresented in soccer.
“The 2015 Women’s World Cup allowed viewers around the globe to see how incredible these athletes really are, but it was also the coaches and the female officials controlling the flow of the game that contributed to one of the greatest tournaments that B.C. has ever hosted. I am committed to seeing growth in sports amongst British Columbia women and girls,” said Coralee Oakes, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister.
Canadian soccer stars will lead keynote speeches at various community events in the fall of 2015 for professional development workshops. The events will offer coaching, officiating and volunteer learning opportunities to all women and girls, and will be free of charge.
Half of the $100,000 will be funded by ViaSport and B.C. Soccer with the other $50,000 invested by the provincial government.
Several more Canadian women’s sporting events are happening in B.C. in the next year, including the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, the 2016 World Women’s Hockey Championships and the 2016 World Women’s Fastpitch Championships.
Out of the 24 teams that competed in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, only eight had a female head coach.