THE STAR | Canadian universities find new models to boost funding for women’s sports

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Published: 30May2019

In the fall, Guelph and McGill announced new multimillion-dollar initiatives focused on gender equity and advancing women in sport.

Research in the United States shows that male alumni donate more money — double, on average — to their college teams than women. American law mandates that educational institutions provide equal opportunities and a proportional level of funding for each gender to participate in sports. In Canada, no such law exists.

“The majority of our most generous donors are males, and their interest by and large goes back to their sport,” said Marc Gelinas, executive director of McGill athletics.

In 2018, McGill created the Kerr Family Women in Sport (WIS) Program after receiving $3.5 million from alumni Sheryl and David Kerr. The donation will add $400,000 to their budget for female teams each year for the next decade, bringing the current distribution of sport-related funding to 54 per cent for men and 46 per cent for women.

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