A group of Saskatoon girls are being taught sports aren’t just for boys.
The city’s annual Active Like a Girl event gets girls aged 10 to 14 to try their hand at new sports to build confidence and keep fit.
“Girls at that age do tend to drop out of sports more frequently than boys do, but we want to encourage girls at that age to not give up on sports and to stay active,” city manager of community initiatives Kevin Kitchen said.
More than 50 girls signed up for Sunday’s sports day at the SaskTel Sports Centre.
This year’s event featured hockey, soccer and wheelchair basketball taught by real athletes like Parapan Am wheelchair basketball silver medalist Erica Gavel.
“It’s an honour for people to look at us and be like ‘you know what these people have been through a lot but they’re still pursuing their dreams,” Gavel said. “I want the kids to leave realizing that they’re so young and they have so much opportunity to follow their dreams.”
Gaval said when she was 12 she wanted to play soccer and make it to the World Cup, but she soon found basketball was her real passion.
Gavel injured her knees while playing basketball for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and had to decide between playing in a wheelchair or giving up. She chose to not give up on her dream.
“That’s the biggest thing that I’ve taken away from my injuries is that, ‘oh I have a knee surgery. Well let’s find another way to do this,'” she said.
The event is funded by tax dollars and the city’s partnership with SaskSport. A similar event called Girls in Motion will take place in November.