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Hi everyone! I’m Ines, a member of Fast and Female’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC). I’ve been on the YAC since its inauguration in 2020 and it’s given me the opportunity to get involved with Fast and Female in so many wonderful ways over the years! I currently sit on the executive team of the YAC as the Operations Manager, looking after the administrative work that keeps our meetings going and everyone in the loop throughout the year. Recently, I’ve been working hard with our Programs Director, Maddy, to get Built to Run: Victoria off the ground! Built to Run is a women and gender diverse friendly program which looks to introduce more women into running. The program started last week and it’s been SO FUN so far! I’m really excited to see Fast and Female build a stronger presence in my hometown. Another Fast and Female project I’ve been involved with recently is working with the Strategic Planning Committee, a process facilitated by Megan from Mosaic Engagement.
What is Strategic Planning?
Do you have a thorough understanding of what strategic planning is? More than just the rough idea of ‘it involves goal setting and mission statements’? Because I did not! Not until I was asked to participate in Fast and Female’s Strategic Planning Committee as both a youth and BC representative this past April.
Over the past four months, the rest of the strategic planning committee and I have been working on a new F&F strategic plan and from what I’ve learned so far, my best description of strategic planning would be: the construction and design of the organization’s long-term goals and the intended path for achieving those goals. We, the committee, are doing our best to sketch the blueprint of who Fast and Female is and who we want to become over the next five years. What we initially had been working to nail down over the first two months (Phase 1) was the mission, vision and values of the organization. In other words: what we do, what we want to achieve long-term and what principles we operate by. All of this is very, very exciting, but it was honestly also a bit intimidating to approach at first.
I love planning – setting the direction and figuring out the details – so the opportunity to participate in the building of a long-term strategy was really appealing to me. That being said, I was a bit nervous to sit on the council due to my non-existent experience in any formal planning and the fact that I was one of the youngest members of the council. But, I saw this as an opportunity to BE BRAVE, step out of my comfort zone and speak up when I have something to say. That, and the wonderful support from my fellow committee members, addressed my anxieties and boom, here we are, in action.
As a result of our first series of meetings, the committee created drafts of our mission, vision and values which were shared with the public for feedback. All of which were assessed and evaluated through our Strategic Plan Feedback Survey, by a team of experts in strategic planning. Our second phase of strategic planning recently started, where we have reviewed the survey results, and started to build out Fast and Female’s strategic pillars and the related outcomes. The team will continue building out more strategic direction and further refine the work we have put in to create a strategic plan for the next 4 years.
Here’s a glance at some of the findings we got from the Fast and Female community:
- What do you love about Fast and Female?
- “I love that it creates a safe place to talk about sports, life, and our experiences as girls.”
- “Exposes girls to different role models. There are “regular” people like me who like to do physical activity, alongside National and Olympic champions. This showcases that [being] active can mean a variety of things. Different ages, body types and sports are showcased, and various careers and jobs are held by these women, again showing the diverse avenues that sport, activity, connections can take.”
- “The message to young girls that they matter and they can do anything and everything.”
- What do you wish Fast and Female could do more of?
- “I wish you could do more on the ground work with girls, and I wish more people knew what Fast and Female was!”
- “More involvement at the grassroots level of sport. Provide opportunities for more girls to get involved after participating in Fast and Female events.”
- “More connection with the volunteers/role models! There are so many amazing women who are involved with great causes.”
- If Fast and Female had all the money in the word, could do whatever they desired, and had all the staff and volunteer support they wanted, what is 1 thing they could do to positively impact the future?
- “Put a national program with events and education into place for girls and recruit as many girls as possible to enroll into the program through various streams – online marketing, schools, ads, role models.”
- “Be more present in more schools, specifically with girls in grades 4-8. Having exposure to different activities and choices when bodies are starting to more obviously change could REALLY help a lot of girls.”
- “Support girls’ sports associations.”
- “Spread their amazing message to more girls all over Canada.”
We heard what you have to say and are so excited to share our strategic plan before the end of 2023! Stay tuned for more.
Thank you to Mosaic Engagement and their team for leading us through the strategic planning process; and thank you to Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and their Community Development Grant for funding this process.
Mosaic Engagement helps teams unlock their potential. Their in-person and digital collaborative facilitation sessions inspire teamwork and harness creativity, so your team can discover effective solutions while building morale and positive culture.
☑️ Values & Culture Audit and Facilitation
☑️ Leadership Development Series Workshops
☑️ Strategic & Action Plan Development/Facilitation
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Their sessions are tailored to fit the way your team works and the goals you need to achieve.
Learn more about Mosaic Engagement by visiting their website https://www.mosaicengagement.ca/
Canadian Tire Jumpstart is a Canadian charity that “helps kids overcome financial accessibility barriers to sport and recreation, in an effort to provide inclusive pay for kids of all abilities”. Since 2005 Jumpstart has disbursed more than $225 million to help over 3 million kids and counting. Along with Jumpstart, we understand the importance of sport for the health and well-being of kids and their families and are proud of our work to provide community sport and play.
Learn more about Jumpstart by visiting https://jumpstart.canadiantire.ca/.