Province-wide inclusion strategy to level the playing field in BC

Nov 17, 2015

Vancouver, BC – viaSport has released #LEVELTHEFIELD – a new, province-wide movement that will work to create a more inclusive sport culture in BC by targeting gender equity, the LGBTQ2+ community, accessibility, socioeconomic inclusion, and cultural diversity. The first phase of this campaign supports gender equity and the inclusion of girls and women in sport and physical activity in British Columbia.

Gender equity represents fair and unbiased opportunities for all – however, it is typically still girls and women who are underrepresented in areas of sport participation, coaching, officiating, sport administration, and leadership. #LEVELTHEFIELD will work to address gender equity in the following categories:

  • ON THE FIELD – athletes and participants
  • CALLING THE SHOTS – coaches and officials
  • AROUND THE TABLE – board members, executives, and sport leaders

“We are proud to be leading a province where sport is accessible to every person, regardless of gender, culture, or ability,” says Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “The Gender Equity #LEVELTHEFIELD campaign represents a positive and important step in creating a stronger, more equitable sport system for all British Columbians.”

In consultation with the Girls and Women in Sport Advisory Group, viaSport is proud to release the viaSport Gender Equity in Sport and Physical Activity Policy, created to assist in developing a sport sector where fair, unbiased, and equitable opportunities are available to every British Columbian, at every level.

#LEVELTHEFIELD will provide a series of interactive tools, templates, workshops, and dedicated funding allocations, to support more than 70 sport partners, community leaders and advocates, province-wide, in the broad adoption and implementation of their own gender equity policies and action plans.

“By providing the right tools and support, we hope to see elements of this policy and resulting action plans integrated through every sport in the province,” says Sheila Bouman, viaSport CEO. “The more people we can get talking about this, the more we can start to shift the traditional attitudes and approaches toward serving this underrepresented population.”

Visit to learn more about how viaSport and partners are helping to #LEVELTHEFIELD.

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Quick links:

PHOTO: Melanie Stewart (Assistant Deputy Minister, Community, Sport and Cultural Development), Krista Guloien (Olympic rower), Allison McNeill (National basketball coach), and Sheila Bouman (viaSport CEO).

Supporting quotes:  
Kelsey Serwa, BC Olympic silver medalist for freestyle skiing: “Even as an Olympic medalist, I only make a third of the income that my male counterparts do. It is great to see a campaign in my home province that is raising awareness for a progressive, fair, and balanced sport system for both female and male athletes.”
Krista Guloien, BC Olympic silver medalist for rowing: I think of my sport career as an education and a gift that allowed me to gain invaluable knowledge about the world around me, as well as myself. Women in sport have come a long way, but there is progress to be made. It is no longer acceptable for gender to be an obstacle. Policy is a critical step in affecting change, so that every person has the option to choose sport and reach his or her full potential.”

About viaSport British Columbia: viaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization established in 2011, responsible for providing strategic leadership to sport in BC. Formed in partnership with the provincial sport sector and the Province of BC, our mandate is to increase awareness, opportunity and participation in sport across the province at every stage of life and in every community. Learn more at  

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Media Contact: Alyson Gourley-Cramer
A/Director, Communications & Engagement, viaSport
250.961.5366 |