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Nike Toronto Community of Practice Recap

ICYMI: Fast and Female is thrilled to share that we’ve been working with Nike and Victory Creative Group Inc. to develop and lead the Nike Toronto Social & Community Impact Team’s Community of Practice! 

The Community of Practice (COP) brings together seven organizations from the General Toronto Area (GTA) that are Nike-funded partners, working to increase the representation of women coaches and creating high-quality and enjoyable sport experiences for girls in sport. 

These partners include: Canada Basketball Foundation; Canadian Women & Sports; City of Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation; Hijabi Ballers; Lay Up Basketball; Native Child and Family Services of Toronto; and Start2Finish.

What is a Community of Practice?

A Community of Practice (Lave and Wegner 1991, Wenger 1998) refers to a

“group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” 

Typically, they share three main characteristics:

  1. Participants have a shared domain of interest
  2. Participants pursue this interest through joint activities, discussions, and relationship-building
  3. Participants are actual practitioners and build a shared body of resources and ideas to take back to their practice

Overview of the Nike Made to Play COP Toronto

The Nike Toronto COP brought the organizations together for five sessions from March to June 2024 to learn from one another and strengthen relationships with each other. 

These five sessions included:

  1. An in-person kick-off and welcome to review the COP and start discussing barriers and facilitators to girls sport participation and women’s sport coaching involvement;
  2. A closer look at the journey of girls in sport, from recruitment to retention;
  3. A closer look at the journey of women’s sport coaches, from recruitment to retention;
  4. Learning best practices and supports to creating brave, inclusive and welcoming spaces for girls and women; and
  5. A final celebration and planning session to wrap up the COP, with special guests Kayla Alexander of Team Canada, Women’s Basketball, and Senior Director of Social and Community Impact from World Headquarters in Oregon, Matt Geschke!

Why a COP Focused on Girls and Women in Sport?

Did you know that:

  • By age sixteen, 1 out of 3 girls who played sport drop out, versus 1 out of 10 boys the same age (Canadian Women & Sport Rally Report, 2020).
  • The lack of representation of women in leadership roles is a limiting factor for girls’ and women’s participation in sport and quality sport experiences (Canadian Women & Sport Rally Report, 2020).
  • Representative role models are important. Watching others succeed allows participants to think, “If others can do it, I should be able to achieve it too,” (Bandura, A. 1977).

The data and experiences shared on girls’ and women’s sporting experiences as participants and leaders continue to demonstrate a need for change. 

Fast and Female acknowledges that to increase their participation rates and retention, we must work collaboratively with other partners and stakeholders in the sector, including girls and women, and apply an intersectional framework to create this change. The COP did just that, bringing together a core group of like-minded organizations and change-makers to share best practices and strategies. 

A huge thank you to Brittney and Adam from Nike Toronto for trusting the Fast and Female team to facilitate the COP; and to Adjoa, Chris and Emma from Victory for all their support! We can’t wait to share learnings and outcomes with our community.

Questions? Please e-mail us at