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Chandra Crawford’s Letter to the Fast and Female Community

Dear Fast and Female community,

When a ten-year old named Emily that I was babysitting told me “it looks like it sucks being a girl. I don’t see any girls skateboarding and they have to worry about their appearance all the time,” it really stuck with me. When I learned that girls were quitting sports so much more than boys I was motivated to do something and so my cross-country skiing teammates and I put on an event called “Fast and Female” in 2005. Fast forward 17 years and this nation-wide registered charity Fast and Female has engaged over 21,000 youth participants and facilitated over 2600 role model appearances. We’ve run events and programs across Canada including north of the arctic circle, in the USA, and even in Australia. We’ve worked with incredible national partners who I count as great friends to the org and me personally… Rocky Mountain Soap, Lululemon, Hillberg and Berk, LL Bean, Silver Gummy Foundation and more. 

What has driven me all this time? A burning core value of making the world a better place, my belief in the power of sport, and the feedback I’ve always received from our participants, role models and their families. I’ve received countless letters and notes and hearing that Fast and Female has positively impacted so many girls and women has truly been a privilege.

I’m not alone in this… thousands of role models have volunteered time and energy in our shared passion for keeping girls healthy and active in sports. I believe in the power of role models in Fast and Female’s evidence-based programs and my life as well. If it wasn’t for role models like Sara Renner, I would not have won gold at the 2006 Olympics in Torino and got the chance to sing my heart out to the Canadian National Anthem. With Fast and Female, I wanted to create spaces and opportunities for girls to connect with and hear from local role models. And we’ve done just that!

As we near the end of Fast and Female’s 17th year of operations, it is with mixed emotions I share that I have made the decision to step back from being an active part of this incredible organisation. As a registered charity, it is in the hands of the board of directors, and I wish them all the best. I look forward to attending events with my 4 kids eventually! I humbly and enthusiastically pass the torch to our new Executive Director. Many of you already know this leader that I respect with every fibre of my being: Gaby Estrada. I’ve had the privilege of working with Gaby for four years. She has risen through the Fast and Female ranks while simultaneously increasing her academic profile and has shaped the core values of the organisation as it continues to evolve. I have learned so much from her. I know that Fast and Female is in the best hands and will continue creating much-needed safe, accessible, and welcoming spaces for self-identified girls in sports with Gaby and her team.

Photo Credit Radical Gentleman Creative

To our Fast and Female community I say a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for sharing our dreams, mission and vision since 2005. For believing in me, in the organisation, and in the power of sport to empower and impact thousands of girls around the world. Thank you to my friends and family who played key roles in bringing hundreds upon hundreds of Fast and Female to life; to the many donors and sponsors who believe in our work; and to all our incredible Role Models, who are my friends and family, for believing in our mission and the power of sport for the next generation of leaders. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To the Fast and Female team, past, present and future  – thank you for all that you did, do and all that you will do. I am so excited to be your biggest cheerleader on the sidelines and can’t wait to see the future of this organisation. And to our girls and women who have been a part of Fast and Female these last 17 years, don’t forget: girl, you got this!

Yours in sport,

Chandra Crawford