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This article was published 15/10/2018 (976 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Andrea Katz is hoping many local girls and women find inspiration in a new award.
The Inspiration Award has been created by Katz and Allison Gervais — the co-founders of Winnipeg-based Fit Communications — in part, to help boost physical activity levels in females.
Designed to recognize a female that’s working hard to be healthy, positive and a good role model, the award includes a $500 grant intended to be used to support their hard work and endeavours, which could include a fitness membership, training, equipment, or other costs associated with healthy living.
Plus, on a more overarching level, the award is also intended to showcase positive female role models in sport and health in Canada.
"Research into sports participation in Canada shows that girls are six times more likely than boys to drop out of sports by the age of 15," Katz said, adding that if girls are not physically active by the age 10 they have a less than 10 per cent chance of being physically active adults.
Katz, who lives in Norwood Grove, said there are a number of reasons why girls participate in sports less than boys, and these can include a perceived lack of time; available sporting options or cost; a social stigma associated with being a female athlete — "the perception of being a tomboy or muscular;" and the lack of positive female role models.
"It’s not that positive female role models don’t exist, it’s just that maybe they don’t get the same coverage the males get," she said, noting that high-profile leagues such as the NHL and CFL means male athletes regularly get a high level of media exposure.
"Young girls watching TV and going online might be influenced by other cultural factors, so we’re asking ourselves what we can do to get more female role models to the forefront. It’s also important for young kids to see positive role models in the home, which can apply to moms, aunties and grandmas, of course. And when it comes to playing sports, there’s a social aspect to it, an acceptance aspect and it’s important for many young women to feel like they’re part of it."
Applications for the award are open to girls and women of any age and level of health and fitness, although the applicant must be a Canadian resident.
Applications will be accepted until Oct. 29, and then there will be an online voting process and a short-list of three finalists.
"It’s a really easy process to apply, and people can visit our website and download a form," Katz said.
Go online at fitcommunications.ca for more information.
The Lance community journalist
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Canstar’s senior reporter, he joined the team in June 2009 to write for The Sou’wester, which was then the new paper in the Canstar family.