Canadian Cyclist


January 17/08 5:12 am - CAAWS: Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity for 2007

Posted by Editoress on 01/17/08

CAAWS Names 2007 List -Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity
Courtesy CAAWS

The breadth of involvement of women across many aspects of sport and physical activity is demonstrated by the women named to the 2007 list of Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity. From advocates to volunteers, the list represents a wide cross-section of talented women from across the country.

The list is compiled by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS). Twenty women were named to the 2007 list, and three young women were named as “ones to watch“. The list recognizes women who have made a significant impact as academics, athletes, administrators, advocates, broadcasters, coaches, executives, fundraisers, managers, politicians, physicians, and volunteers. While many of the women named have had significant careers, the selection to the list reflects their influential activity in the calendar year 2007.

This is the sixth time CAAWS has announced its Most Influential Women list. In presenting the 2007 names, Winnipeg’s Janice Forsyth, Chair of the CAAWS Board of Directors outlined how the list reflects the current activities in Canada, “With Canada getting set to host the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver, we see many influential Canadian women having a significant impact on the planning and organization of those Games. As well, many of the women named to our list this year worked as volunteers to organize highly successful events, or gave of their time to serve on international committees. Also this year, we recognize several current and newly retired athletes who are using their influence to speak up and speak out on topics that are near to their hearts. The depth of women who are passionate about sport and physical activity in this country is truly remarkable, and although we can’t recognize everyone, we are pleased to honour these 23 with the announcement of this list.”

Women included on the list who are directly involved with the 2010 Games include VANOC Board Member Charmaine Crooks; Nancy Lee, Chief Operating Officer of the Olympic Broadcasting Services Vancouver; Cathy Priestner Allinger, the Executive Vice President - Sport, Paralympic Games and Venue Management for VANOC; and Teresa Schlachter, who is High Performance Advisor for Own the Podium 2010 Technical Team, based in Calgary.

Several current and recently retired athletes on the list who have served as role models to others, and have taken a public stand on various issues are: hockey player turned commentator, Cassie Campbell; climate change advocate and cross-country skier Sara Renner; cross-country skier and drug-free sport spokeswoman Beckie Scott; and Hayley Wickenheiser who has devoted time to Right to Play and encouraging young women to be physically active and tobacco-free.

New names on the list this year are Winnipeg’s Polly Craik, who chaired the highly successful IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships committee; Toronto’s Sheilagh Croxon who is driving the strategy to develop and support women in coaching; distinguished Quebec City academic Guylaine Demers; the Secretary of State (Sport) the Honorable Helena Guergis; Water Ski coach Pat Messner; and ParticipACTION’s President and CEO, Kelly Murumets;

Returning to the list were Melody Davidson, General Manager of the National Women’s Hockey Team Programs; Silken Laumann, Author of the book Child’s Play; Physician Margo Mountjoy who sits on the world governing body for aquatics; Carla Qualtrough, the President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee; Sheryn Posen, the Chief Operating Officer of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame; and fundraiser Jane Roos who continues to encourage corporate support for Canada’s amateur athletes.

Three young leaders whose influence is being noticed were named as “Ones to Watch”. Kimberly Keba led the Canadian Deaf Women's Volleyball team to a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Deaf Games in Venezuela and is a role model for both young deaf athletes and children. Sara Nicholls is a long time advocate in the world of sport for development and is Canada's Youth Ambassador to the UN for the Millennium Development Goals. Kristen Worley has worked tirelessly in engaging leaders of the sporting world, in addressing issues of gender variance, impact of gender testing, transitioned athletes and inter-sexed athletes in sport.

The 2007 Most Influential Women (in alphabetical order) are:

Cassie Campbell, Calgary, Alberta
Polly Craik, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Charmaine Crooks, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sheilagh Croxon, Toronto, Ontario
Melody Davidson, Calgary, Alberta
Guylaine Demers, Québec City, Québec
The Honorable Helena Guergis, Angus, Ontario
Silken Laumann, Victoria, British Columbia
Nancy Lee, Vancouver, British Columbia
Pat Messner, Carleton Place, Ontario
Margo Mountjoy, Guelph, Ontario
Kelly Murumets, Toronto, Ontario
Carla Qualtrough, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sheryn Posen, Toronto, Ontario
Cathy Priestner Allinger, Vancouver, British Columbia
Sara Renner, Canmore, Alberta
Jane Roos, Toronto, Ontario
Teresa Schlachter, Calgary, Alberta
Beckie Scott, Panorama, British Columbia
Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary, Alberta

“Ones to Watch”

Kimberly Keba, Milton, Ontario
Sara Nicholls, Ottawa, Ontario
Kristen Worley, Toronto, Ontario

Many of the women named to the CAAWS list were nominated by colleagues and the general public. The final list was compiled by the CAAWS selection panel from both public nominations, and contributions from knowledgeable sport and physical activity leaders. The panel reviewed the submissions and based its decision on the scope of activities in the 2007 calendar year.

Click to view photos and individual biographies.


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