Event to support female leaders in sport returns for second edition

Members of the women's Lions field hockey team
Members of the women’s Lions field hockey team

In honour of International Women’s Day, York University Athletics & Recreation has announced the return of the Women and Girls Leadership and Sport Conference (WGLSC) this year, slated for April 30, in a virtual setting.

Poster f or Women and Girls Leadership in Sport ConferenceThe inaugural event was a resounding success in 2019 and organizers were looking forward to a second edition last year; however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation. This year, the event will be held virtually so female sport leaders can continue to be educated, empowered and supported, especially during this challenging time.

The theme of WGLSC 2021 is resilience and the free event will take place via Zoom beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m. Coaches, athletes, sport administrators and allies are all welcome to attend.

“It was very important to us to host the Women and Girls Leadership and Sport Conference this year even if we had to do so virtually, and I am thrilled that we are making it happen,” said Jennifer Myers, executive director of York Athletics & Recreation. “Resilience has never before been as crucial as it is right now and we are proud to be giving women in sport an opportunity to hear from some of the leading voices within the sport industry about the topic. I look forward to hearing from all the speakers about their own experiences at the end of next month.”

Speakers for the event come from a diverse background, and many incredible female leaders are poised to share their stories and experiences with the audience. Kayla Alexander, a WNBA star, national team athlete and author/illustrator, will be headlining this year’s conference. There will also be a powerhouse panel featuring some tremendous female leaders in sport who have paved the way. The panel hosts perspectives of sport administrators, coaches, elite athletes and current student-athletes. Finally, the conference will close with two York Lions head coaches, Jennifer Neilson and Daniel Church. Neilson is the York Lions women’s volleyball head coach, and youth/junior national team assistant coach; Church is a master coach, chartered professional coach, mentor coach (OWHA) and York Lions Women’s Hockey Head Coach. 

Panel speakers for the event include:

  • Joely Christian-Macfarlane – RMC Paladins women’s volleyball head coach, National Military Volleyball Program head coach
  • Erica Gavel – paralympian, PhD candidate
  • Nadine Crowley – social worker/mediator, FIBA and U SPORTS referee
  • Theresa Hanson – Simon Fraser University senior director of Athletics & Recreation
  • Teni Odetoyinbo – York Lions women’s soccer student-athlete, co-president of the Black and Indigenous Varsity Student-Athlete Alliance

For more information and to register for the event, visit the official WGLSC webpage.