As a part of its continued efforts to strengthen the participation of females in sports, Maccabi Canada has developed the Maccabi Girl program.
The Maccabi Girl program engages, empowers, and inspires young girls to join or stay in sports, in addition to encouraging them to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve their fullest athletic potential. The program welcomes girls of all levels of athletic ability.
The need for such a program became clear during the 2013 Maccabiah, where 40% of the Junior athletes (under the age of 19) were female, 30% of the Open athletes (20-30) and only 10% of Masters athletes (over 35) were female. Though these numbers were an increase over the previous Maccabiah in 2009, statistically it still evident that female athletes do not stay as engaged in sports as male athletes do later in life.
For the initial launch of the Maccabi Girl program, Maccabi Canada partnered with Fast and Female, a non-profit organization that exclusively delivers programming for girls in sports. Fast and Female’s vision is to deliver inspiring, innovative, and high impact programming for the positive personal and athletic development of young female athletes involved in an array of sports. “Fast and Female hopes that one day, all girls will have positive and empowering experiences in sports as a foundation for success in life” says Sasha Gollish, an ambassador with Fast and Female and Gold medalist at the 19th Maccabiah Games.
The Maccabi Girl program is aimed at girls between the age of 12 -18. The program features inspirational presentations by Maccabi Canada athletes and/or coaches who share their empowering athletic journeys with the participants. Their experience, challenges and successes are meant to inspire and motivate the next generation of female athletes. In addition, the program is comprised of interactive leadership development activities that include team building and individual growth. Parents and coaches are encouraged to attend and participate in the program as we are confident it will create a lasting positive impact on being active.
As Sasha Gollish sums it up “From an obstacle course, to a Zumba-style dance session, and finishing with some active Yoga, all of the girls have a great day learning from each other. While we may have come from a variety of athletic backgrounds, we all agree that we are all athletes. From dance to soccer, gymnastics to basketball, all of the girls have something to share about their athletic experience with the others.”
Maccabi Girls celebrate being a girl and an athlete.
With the 20th Maccabi Games on the horizon we want to inspire the next generation of female athletes to engage, stay and compete in sports, be active and lead a healthy lifestyle.