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Participant Story: Emma’s Virtual Summit Experience

By Jessica Henry

As we enter into a new year of planning for events and programs ahead to continue in our mission of keeping self-identified girls healthy and active in sports across Canada, we find ourselves reflecting on the success of our previous year.

In 2021 we were able to reach over 300 girls nationally, through both our virtual and in-person events and programs. Introducing hybrid programming in 2021 allowed us to engage girls in a whole new way, including 10-year-old Emma. Emma is from Esterhazy, a rural part of Saskatchewan. She is an active fifth-grade student and this is her second year participating in Fast and Female activities. Emma was recently interviewed about her experiences with Fast and Female. 

Emma beamed throughout her interview, which highlighted how she engaged with her community, how she’s stayed active, and her favourite parts of the Fast and Female Summit. In regards to engaging with her community and neighbours, Emma told of how she “shovels the neighbour’s driveways, and helps and participates in spirit days and Empower Hour at her school”. She also “does all of her sports in her community”, actively engaging with community members. 


Emma has been staying active during the pandemic, taking part in a plethora of sports, including but not limited to soccer, gymnastics, skiing, and swimming. 

Her favourite new things that she learned in the Summit were Boxing and Jingle Dancing. Jingle dancing or Shawl dancing is a type of native Canadian dance. Both activities are not offered in Emma’s small community, which goes to highlight the importance of being exposed to different activities and cultures.


When asked what she wanted to share about her summit experience, she answered that the key message she took from the summit was “confidence in doing all sports”, which is an amazing feeling that we hope all of our participants leave with. 

Along with Emma, her parents Alison and Gavin were also interviewed. They spoke about how the summit kept Emma active and excited during Covid. They talked about the importance of Emma attending the summit, stating that the preteen years are formative, and the best time to adopt healthy habits. By encouraging Emma in sports that are also hoping to promote habits such as “teamwork, communication, and making friendships”. 

When asked to speak to the donors/potential donors about the importance and impact of hybrid Fast and Female Events, they explained that having the events as hybrid gave Emma something to look forward to when so much had been cancelled. It allowed her to stay connected, and also gave her a look at sports that were not available in her community, opening doors to new interests for her. Lastly, they commented on having Emma stay healthy and active during the pandemic. They spoke on how it provided Emma with social interaction, an integral part of life that’s been limited in these past two years. 

Emma is only one of the hundreds of girls who have had their lives positively impacted by the Fast and Female programs in 2021, and we look forward to continuing this trend in 2022. 

To learn more about Fast and Female’s upcoming in-person and virtual hybrid events, check out our events page