Our project is centred around diversity and inclusion in the sporting world and how we as organizers must be more cognizant regarding the mental health struggles that BIPOC (Black Indigenous or Persons of Colour) or LGBTQ+ athletes and individuals in the sporting community face. We hope to do this by creating a ‘Speakers Series’ featuring notable figures in the Canadian Sporting Community and abroad, with 12 speakers over a 12 month period.
We will ask a series of questions regarding mental health struggles that are faced primarily by athletes and other individuals and how these may be overcome. We hope to give our Club athletes and athletes around the province the opportunity to listen and relate with each speaker. Due to the lack of representation and inclusion in the sporting community oftentimes, this is difficult, nonetheless, this is something that we are determined to change.
For the Club’s 7th segment, we have two guest speakers!
The seventh guest speaker is Gabriela Estrada. Currently, Gabriela is the Program Director at Fast and Female. Gabriela oversees all of the organization’s programming & events across Canada, alongside support in the creation, development, & management of the new research arm of the organization.
The eighth guest speaker is Justin Bobb. Currently, Justin is the Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership). Justin supports the Maple Leafs, as well as a number of other MLSE teams in developing & executing their Equity, Diversity & Inclusion strategies.
The sixth guest speaker is Lee Anna Osei, Lee is the Head Coach of Women’s Basketball at Saint Francis Xavier University (NS, Canada), as well as the Founder of The Black Canadian Coaches Association (BCCA).
The fifth guest speaker is Dru Wright, Dru is the Director of Soccer Development at BVB International Academy America.
The third guest speaker Carmelina Moscato, Carmelina is a retired Canadian Soccer Association (Canada Soccer) Women’s National Player and an Olympic bronze medalist who played as a Centreback.
‘I think it’s more important than ever to think about young athletes’ mental health as they go through the trials and tribulations of being in a competitive environment. It’s the beginning of an exciting time in Canadian soccer and I want to be involved in every capacity I am able. Of course, focusing on BIPOC athletes is something that resonates with me as well.’ – Zachary Ellis-Hayden
The first guest speaker is Troy Townsend, Troy is currently the Head of Development for Kick It Out. Kick It Out is English football’s equality and inclusion organization. Working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change, Kick It Out is at the heart of the fight against discrimination for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.
Troy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this conversation and we are very happy and lucky to have him as our first speaker.