A history of the CAN Fund #150Women and its persistent account to financially aid female athletes in Canada.
CAN Fund #150Women is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to female Canadian athletes. This enables athletes to complete their training, take part in various sports competitions and compete on the national team. This year, Alicia Brown, UTM alumna who graduated in 2013 with an honours bachelor’s degree in communications, culture and information technology, was awarded $6,000 from CAN Fund #150Women. She placed fourth in the 4×400 relay race in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
In an interview with U of T News, Brown states, “I remember navigating the year and being like, just do it, you’ll figure it out after,” she says. “A lot of the support that I got from CAN Fund #150Women really helps me go back and balance the books in many ways. It’s never too late for that funding.”
First established in November 2017, the fund started as a small campaign to encourage and support female athletes. Due to its leadership and collective vision of supporting female athletes in Canada, the organization immediately evolved into an outsized community.
This vision has welcomed over 1,000 women from diverse backgrounds, all of whom share knowledge, networks, and a desire to build a welcoming community with an exquisite purpose. Their intention is to supply opportunities for women to succeed and pursue their passion while alleviating the stress of financial burdens. Recipients of this award are granted $6,000 (up to twice a year) with recognition and opportunities to participate in local public events.
Carling Zeeman, another Canadian athlete who also competed in the 2021 Olympics and a recipient of the fund states in an interview with the organizations premier partner, Nicola Wealth, “being a CAN Fund #150Women recipient is a pretty cool thing; you’re part of this group of phenomenal athletes across Canada, some with Olympic medals, some destined to get their medals in the years to come.”
Zeeman continues by stating, “you’re brought together by this incredible bond, knowing that other athletes have made the same commitments to their sport as you have. Knowing that the support comes from women supporting women is even cooler! Sometimes we need reminders that people are behind us and supporting us, and this female initiative is so empowering!”
The fund enables many female athletes the opportunity to afford training, coaching, new equipment, a proper diet, travel to training camps, team fees, and to be capable of competing for their country.
Due to the harsh winters in Canada, various sports are more difficult to participate in such as cycling, equestrian sports, long marathon races, and track and field. Therefore, they require athletes to move to a more appropriate climate for training which would mean having to spend time abroad and pay more for food, transportation, hotels, and more.
CAN Fund #150Women encourages individuals to donate and support female Canadian athletes. With a passion to endorse participants, their mantra states, “BE EPIC! Love yourself, be brave, take risks to get what you want in life, and empower women around you to follow your lead.”