The Pandemic Impact on Girls in Sport

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted society, an impact that we will feel for years to come.

Within sport, COVID-19 has resulted in huge revenue losses and deep cuts to programming. Every individual involved in sport, from leaders to athletes to coaches, at all levels of sport, felt these changes. But, the impact of those changes were likely not be experienced equally by all. Reviewing sport participation statistics from before COVID-19, fewer girls participated in sport compared to boys and girls experienced unique barriers to sport.


The Pandemic Impact on Girls in Sport report, which collected data from over 5,000 Canadian families, shows that 1 in 4 girls are not committed to returning to sport. If we don’t act now to counter this trend, we might realize a new normal of over 350,000 girls sitting on the sidelines in the post-COVID-19 world.

The success of sport in Canada will depend on girls’ engagements and contributions; so now is the time to rethink how we can rebuild sport with and for them. As sport poises to return, there is an opportunity to change the minds of girls to commit to return. We must pay attention to what girls want. We must design with their needs at the centre. The time for action is now.

This report was produced in partnership with E-Alliance and Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, and thanks to funding from the Government of Canada.

Read the report to learn more.

Related Resources:

  • Learn how to create safe and respectful environments for girls to participate in sport and physical activity with the Keeping Girls in Sport e-module, for coaches and activity leaders.
  • She Belongs offers practical recommendations to create social connection and better engage girls in the Learn to Train and Train to Train stages of the Long-Term Development in Sport and Physical Activity Framework (LTD). 
  • Actively Engaging Women and Girls: Addressing the Psycho-Social Factors is a supplement to the Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L) foundation documents. The purpose of this resource is to increase awareness about the experiences of women and girls and provide recommendations to address the psycho-social factors that influence their athletic development, leadership and life-long participation in sport and physical activity.
  • Jumpstart State of Sport Report