What started as a call to female athletes nation-wide, who were struggling against inequality to pursue their passion for sport, culminated in the inaugural Fuelling Woman Champions Fund; a new $100,000 grant program introduced by Canada’s dairy farmers, to support girls and women across the country in achieving sports excellence. 

The Champions Fund received a whopping 2,537 applications from female athletes across Canada, who submitted stories detailing their love of sport and their need of financial assistance to achieve their goals—all within the context of addressing the inequalities Canadian female athletes face versus their male counterparts.

A recent publication entitled Women in Sport — Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation confirmed the severe gender inequality for Canadian girls and women in sport, and among the publication’s key findings were stats like “41% of girls between the ages of 3-17 years do not participate in sport — and this jumps to 84% in adult women.”

The Champions Fund is being distributed as 20 grants of $5,000 to youth sports teams, individual athletes, and grassroots women’s and girls’ sports organizers across Canada. Among them are Corner Brook’s Brooklyn Childs — the only Newfoundlander, and one of only 3 Atlantic Canadians to win an inaugural grant.

Brooklyn is an avid player of both hockey and baseball. She says she’ll use the funds to attend a national team development camp for baseball, with the hopes of one day representing her country on the international stage.

Until recently, Brooklyn was the only girl on her all-boys teams, and found she was repeatedly ignored by sponsorships typically reserved for boys her age. She hopes the funding, and what she does with it, will inspire other young girls to stay in sports through adolescence into adulthood.