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In this ninth edition, we learn more about Christine Sinclair’s one-year contract with the NWSL team, Portland Thorns FC and a new program that will allow Canadian Paralympians to receive equal financial compensation that Canadian Olympians receive when winning medals. We also learn more about the University of Saskatchewan’s women’s basketball team’s perfect 15-0 winning record so far and the latest news around larger venues and Canadian records for PWHL teams Toronto and Montréal.

The stories of the week show young girls in sport and physical activity that:

  1. An athlete’s retirement/transition out of a sport may mean that we see them with a different team, league, or role in the sports world. It is common for retired athletes to pursue another career in sports, which shows there is so much variety and opportunity to still work in a space you enjoy playing/competing in. 
  2.  Equal financial compensation for Paralympic athletes can positively improve or change the trajectory that a Paralympic athlete can take in their career now that they can receive better financial support while competing in their sport.    
  3. A successful season for a team should be recognized and celebrated in general. It takes a lot of hard work for athletes and others who are part of the team to keep up that kind of record throughout every game so far. Factors like location or previous season records should not equate to lesser recognition. 
  4. Relocating a hockey game to larger venues has proven to do so much good. Fans want to be able to attend games in person and engage with the team they follow and women’s sports in general in Canada. It is clear from the attendance records so far that hockey fans have eagerly been waiting for opportunities to attend games and put their money where their mouth is.  

Photo from Portland Thorns FC

Christine Sinclair signs with NWSL Portland Thorns for one more year

We get one more year of Christine Sinclair soccer! The Canadian soccer player and goat has announced alongside the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Portland Thorns FC team that she has signed a one-year contract to suit up for the 2024 NWSL season. We last saw Christine Sinclair play in her final Canadian women’s national team send-off game in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 5, 2023. The Canadian women’s team secured a 1-0 win against Australia. Sinclair hinted at more playing time with the Thorns when she took to Instagram in October 2023 to announce her retirement from soccer with the Canadian women’s national team. She has played for the Thorns since 2013, the year of the NWSL club’s inaugural season. The Portland Thorns season begins on March 16, 2024, when they play against the Kansas City Current. The Thorns’ entire 2024 game season schedule can be viewed here.

Photo from Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Canadian Paralympians to receive equal pay alongside Canadian Olympians during Paris 2024 Paralympics

In the “Paralympic Performance Recognition program,” Canadian Paralympians will now receive the same financial compensation in conjunction with their medal wins that Canadian Olympians have previously rewarded. The program will begin during the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games and continue for the following games.

The financial compensation will be as follows:

  • $20,000 with a gold medal win
  • $15,000 with a silver medal win
  • $10,000 with a bronze medal win

Canadian swimmer and 10-time Paralympic medalist Aurélie Rivard spoke with CBC Sports after the program was announced. Rivard said that Canadian Paralympian athletes have “been pushing for this for a long time.” Rivard also expressed her gratitude for the program being in place now, stating, “I was so relieved and happy and also proud of my country, of my federation, of everybody that contributed to it.”

Photo from Global News

University of Saskatchewan women’s basketball team on a 15-game winning streak

You could say that the University of Saskatchewan’s women’s basketball team is having a pretty successful 2023-2024 so far! The team has won all 15 games so far in their season. As of January 23rd, the team is ranked #1 on the U Sports national ranking for women’s basketball. With four games remaining in the regular season before the championships, should the team continue their winning streak for all upcoming games, it will be the first time a U Sports women’s basketball team has gone undefeated in a season since the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) women’s basketball team did so during their 2021-2022 seasonThe next home game is on Friday, February 2nd, against the University of Regina women’s basketball team. Game tickets are available here, or the game can be viewed online here.

Photo from Joshua Clipperton/THE CANADIAN PRESS

PWHL Toronto and Montréal make news: larger venues and Canadian records

PWHL Toronto has announced that their February 16 home game will now be hosted at Scotiabank Arena instead of Mattamy Athletic Center, the team’s home venue. The game matchup between PWHL Toronto and PWHL Montréal is labelled “Battle on Bay Street,” a reference to Scotiabank Arena residing on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario. Scotiabank Arena has a venue capacity of almost 19,000. Should the highly anticipated matchup sell out, the February 16 game would be projected to break the previous PWHL Minnesota professional women’s ice hockey attendance record of 13,316 fans! Tickets go on sale on February 1 and will likely sell out quickly. Sign up here for priority access to purchasing game tickets.

On January 27, PWHL Montréal hosted PWHL Ottawa at Place Bell in Montréal, Québec, where a new attendance record of 8,646 fans was set for a professional women’s ice hockey game in Canada. PWHL Montréal has an upcoming game again at Place Bell on February 18, where it’s projected that they will exceed the previous Canadian record of 8,646 fans as the venue has opened up more seating sections and very few tickets remain. Tickets for the February 18 game can be purchased here.

Kaitlyn’s Sport Stories Recap
are written by Kaitlyn Lehbert, a passionate and driven sport advocate for girls and women. Kaitlyn holds her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Brock University. Learn more about Kaitlyn by clicking here!


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