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Talking EDI in Sport

By Ameeta Vohra

Sport Nova Scotia recently launched its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in Sport conference series.

The series, aimed at provincial and sports organizations, hopes to increase EDI awareness by motivating positive change within sport.

“The goal is to be more visible in spaces to get more people talking about what EDI means in a sport context,” says Nick Lenehan, Sport Nova Scotia’s EDI Lead. “It brings leaders from different parts of the sports world together along with anybody in the general public who was interested to talk about some of these issues with an action-oriented, solution-oriented mindset.”

Highlighting this conference is “all youth matter” inclusion training that allows participants to be involved in a certification process.

During the first leg of the conference in Halifax, Aisha Saintiche and Tova Sherman gave keynote addresses. Saintiche is a certified health coach, founder and owner of MetoMoi Health. For 20 years, Sherman has been a leader and trailblazer in EDI program initiatives across Canada.

Marisa Colzie was one of the Halifax participants. The Saint Mary’s Huskies women’s soccer head coach and manager of club licensing at Soccer Nova Scotia saw the series as an opportunity to grow professionally.

“Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion have always been a passion and priority in my life,” she says. “With my professional roles, I am being deliberate about creating an ‘accountable space’ as keynote speaker Aisha Saintiche put it while presenting at the conference.”

Overall, the conference gave Colzie a greater understanding of ways she can improve spaces for others through sport.

“I learned the difference between a ‘safe space’ and an ‘accountable space’ and how I can continue to drive positive change in the sports landscape throughout the province,” she says. “The conference was a good step in the right direction, for sports organizations and sports leaders, toward making all sporting environments equitable, diverse, and inclusive.”

Halifax was the first of six stops in this EDI series. Other stops are planned for five different regions of the province, including Pictou and Yarmouth.

Ultimately, Lenehan hopes the series ignites more uncomfortable conversations so it can bring about improvements and positive change in existing spaces.

“We need a lot of different people and a lot of different levels of the support system to do some work to make it better for everyone. This is a type of event that doesn’t exist in a lot of other places, especially not for free. We wanted to break down as many barriers as possible when it came to attending and want people to start talking about what they can be doing in their little spheres of influence.”





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