“She’s Got it All” campaign demonstrates that while women and girls have what it takes to succeed in sport, including talent, drive and determination, they still have to overcome barriers that are typically not present for men.
Table Tennis Canada joined the campaign with the support of the Athletes Commission, sent a survey to all female athletes of the national team and to Provincial & Territorial organizations to help and reach more female athletes. With the results from the survey and the interest from many athletes, the theme was created.
“She’s got it all: Agility, Strength, and training partners who don’t reflect the talented women she will compete against.”
Men and women playing competitive table tennis tend to have very different playing styles. With fewer high level women training, it’s tough for them to find well-matched opponents to practise with, as they prepare for competitions. By recognizing this issue, coaches can work to devise training methods that are more effective for these athletes.
Joyce Xu from Ontario, who is featured on the poster, explains to us why it is so important to be involved and have her voice heard, and the voices of all female Table Tennis athletes across Canada. “The issue of keeping girls in sport is widespread but especially prevalent in table tennis, and I think it is incredibly important for the obstacles and challenges that female athletes face to be widely known and addressed. I also believe that I have a responsibility to help facilitate the conversation regarding raising awareness and creating measures to help keep girls in sport.”
The campaign is very important and Joyce sees the campaign as a connection with all female athletes across all sports in Canada, sharing their struggles in sport and competing at their highest level. “I think it is important to realize that the problems at hand are ubiquitous and that individuals working in different sports need to work together to address these issues. I also believe it is can help female athletes feel less alone and be less afraid to speak about their own challenges. Realizing that fellow athletes – potentially even ones they look up to – have been through similar experiences may bring them much-needed comfort and encouragement.“
A huge supporter next to Joyce in this campaign was Ivy Liao from British Columbia who has been involved in various sports, including competitive Table Tennis over the past +12 years. “I recognize that sports present incredible opportunities for all individuals. However, it has become evident that females in particular experience additional barriers to continuing to participate in sport purely due to their gender. This is why I wanted to be involved in the She’s Got it All campaign – to work with a dedicated team to bring awareness to the issues present surrounding gender equity in sport and spark conversations that can lead to meaningful and impactful change for years to come. By bringing these issues to light through this campaign, my hope is that our sports community in Canada can actively work to find solutions to these issues so that we can better support ALL of our athletes in discovering the gift of sport and having a lengthy and rewarding experience with it.”
Canadian Women and Sport has run this campaign for over a year now and is very happy to see Table Tennis Canada join in: “This campaign challenges traditional mindsets so that we can all drive positive change across all sports and communities in Canada. We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Table Tennis Canada. And, we applaud them for their efforts to listen to women and girls in their sport and to use that information to build a more inclusive sport.”
Table Tennis Canada’s Gender Equity Committee came alive on June 1st, 2021. One of the many projects that the committee supports is the “She’s Got it All Campaign and Chair Julia Charbonneau is very happy about it: “ The Gender Equity Committee is thrilled to have collaborated with the Athlete Commission on the “She s got it all “ campaign. We share in the excitement in that Joyce Xu was selected to be the “face” for this campaign. It’s incredible news for table tennis! Canadian Women and Sport have selected a very worthy athlete and we hope this exposure to table tennis will inspire many others to get involved in table tennis!”
If you have any questions or you would like more information about theTable Tennis Canada Gender Equity program, feel free to reach out to Karine Dumontier at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to continuing to talk about the topic in the New Year starting with our training camp scheduled from January 10 to 11, 2021.
Canadian Women and Sport created an online portal with suggested actions to drive change: https://yourrole.womenandsport.ca/