(TORONTO – May 1, 2018) The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is proud to announce it has pledged, alongside other professional women’s sports leagues and organizations from across the United States and Canada, to take part and support the newly established SheIS Challenge.
Founded in 2017, the SheIS Challenge was created to progress change in a positive way, with the goal of increasing resources, viewership, and attendance for women’s sports across the United States and Canada by creating awareness and support for women’s professional, national, and collegiate leagues.
“The SheIS campaign is very dear to me because it entails the change we all want to see when it comes to women’s sports,” spoke Andress following the April 18 pledge. “This is not about just the CWHL, this is about all of women’s sports and the future we want to see for young girls who aspire to be more. We want everyone to know that she can be a professional athlete, she can be a business leader, she can be anything and everything, and soon enough she can will become she is.”
The SheIS Challenge has been developed as a three-step campaign.
The first step is The Pledge: to “be better and do better” in supporting female athletics beyond the realm of just a single sport one may be affiliated with. This pledge can be signed by visiting sheissport.com.
The second step is The Challenge: to post a video or photo of oneself on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, using the #SheIS when attending or watching a women’s sporting event. The goal of this social challenge is to encourage public support for female athletics and quantitively demonstrate the demand for women’s sport viewership and attendance.
The third step is The Fund: to receive donations from partners, key donors, and the general public in contribution towards amateur girls and women’s sports leagues across the United States and Canada. In the first year of SheIS, this will be facilitated through the charitable organization Fast & Female. Fast & Female hosts engaging, athlete-led, non-competitive events developed to help young females foster general athleticism, gain new friends, and find inspiration to stick with sports.
On April 18, 2018, CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress and fellow sports leaders: Lisa Borders (President, Women’s National Basketball Association), Cheri Kempf (Commissioner, National Women’s Pro Fastpitch League), Stacey Allaster (Chief Executive, US Tennis Association), Dani Rylan (Commissioner, National Women’s Hockey League), Rachael DeCecco (COO, Women’s Professional Lacrosse League), Dr. Jen Welter (First Female Coach in the NFL), Fran Rider (CEO, Ontario Women’s Hockey Association), Mark Gravett (President, Ontario Sports Hall of Fame), Dr. Cheri Bradish (Research Chair in Sport Marketing, Ted Rogers School of Management Ryerson University), Caiti Donovan (Active Executive Director, SheIS), came together to sign the very first SheIS pledge.
In addition to the sport leadership group who came together to drive the SheIS Challenge, there were also a group of athletes and influencers on hand to take the pledge. Representing the CWHL in this group were a trio of Olympic gold medalists in Toronto Furies goaltender and CWHL co-founder Sami Jo Small, Furies forward and CWHL all-star Natalie Spooner, and former Furies defence and current SportsCentre anchor Tessa Bonhomme.
“I decided to take the SheIS pledge to make a greater impact on female sport,” said four-time world champion Sami Jo Small. “I will be challenging all of my teammates, friends and co-workers to watch and support female sports and I hope the challenge as a whole provides greater exposure for professional female sports to a wider audience.”
For more information on SheIS or to begin the SheIS Challenge, visit sheissport.com.
Founded in 2017, SheIS was born from a vision to create progressive change from a place of positivity. Sports have long been seen as a great way to create strong individuals and future leaders. SheIS seeks to embrace the known benefits that sport brings with a specific focus on raising awareness of, engagement with, and participation in girls and women’s leagues. This is an inclusive effort, and we are proud to partner with both male and female leagues, athletes, business leaders, and passionate fans in order to achieve our mission. To learn more visit sheissport.com.
About the CWHL
The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) is the premier, professionally-run women’s hockey league in the world. With seven current clubs throughout North America and China, it enables elite female hockey players to pursue their dreams of competing at the highest level possible, while enhancing the lives of others through exceptional athleticism, entertainment, and motivation. The league is a centrally funded not-for-profit organization, meaning all participating teams receive equal access to funding to ensure equal opportunity and competition. To learn more visit thecwhl.com.