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March 31, 2021

What's Your Relationship Status with Sport?

Sport is both a simple and complex idea. As a kid sports are just games, but as we  grow our relationship with sport and the space we make for it shifts. Especially as women.  

I was 5 years old when I started playing sports. My mom was one of those first time parents who blindly signed me up for house league soccer along with some of  my closest friends.  

I do not know if my mom, in this panicked moment of trying to make the correct  parenting decision, realized how much of an impact it would have on my life. Unfortunately, not all girls can say the same, I am one of the lucky ones.  

Now, to be clear, this blog is not about me. I am only one female athlete, with one  experience and perspective, which is not any better or more important than that  of yours. Conversely, I am hoping you can relate. 



It is not surprising to hear from Canadian Women & Sport that upon entering  adolescence, girls’ sport participation drops by 22%. Or that 41% of girls 3-17 and 84% of adult women don’t participate in sport at all.  

Surprising, no. Alarming, yes.  

As a woman I am proud and fortunate to find myself on the other side of these  statistics. Throughout high school I played soccer, basketball, ultimate, volleyball,  the list could go on. I went on to play varsity basketball for 5 years. When my  athletic career had come to an end, I was terrified that I wouldn’t know who I  was. With the final blow of a whistle and a heartbreaking loss, a massive part of  my life and identity vanished. Or so I thought. 

Fast-forward and my identity is still largely influenced by sport. The same skills  and character traits that I learned through sport contribute to my ability to succeed in other facets of my life. In navigating relationships, working towards  an education, pursuing a career, and ultimately bettering myself on a daily basis.  

For those of you who are familiar with Lead Thru Sport, you know that we aim to  provide girls and women with an opportunity to participate in sport*, apply  essential leadership skills outside of sport, and connect with each other in the  process. We strive to develop character, identify passions, and build each other up.  

In doing so, we are enabling more girls to experience sport in the way I did. Not in  its competitive nature, but as a lifelong activity which we continue to make space  for, learn from and are empowered by.  

So, can you?  

Relate that is. 


Thanks for reading! I am very excited to be joining the Lead Thru Sport team as a  writer, beginning with this bi-weekly blog! We will cover a wide variety of topics,  themes and events surrounding female participation in sport. Highlighting  achievements, connecting women, and sharing stories to empower and inspire  each other. Up next, High Five Day! Stay tuned.  

Note *: *Participation in sport is defined by LTS as being involved in sport, in any  capacity (not just an athlete). A few examples include being a coach, sport  administrator, advocate for sport, or referee. 

To learn more about Lead Thru Sport, who we are, our mission and goals you  can visit https://leadthrusport.ca/ or follow us on Instagram @leadthrusport

Written by: Sarah Saftich 


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