Optimizing Facility Use: An Overview


The recreation sector plays a very important role in the sport system. It is the main provider of facilities for recreational and competitive sport participation. As well, it offers, on its own or with community partners, a variety of recreational sport programs and physical activity opportunities. As such, the recreation sector has a critical role to play in reducing two significant barriers to the participation and retention of girls, women and gender-diverse individuals: access to community sport facilities, and the design and maintenance of these facilities.

Traditionally, and still today, prime time slots (e.g., ice time) as well as prime facilities (e.g., best fields) are often given to traditional male sports programs, thereby limiting access to facilities for girls and women. Further, just as important as access is the need to improve facilities in a way that addresses the design and maintenance elements that are valued by girls, women and gender diverse individuals in order to help them feel welcome and safe and eager to return.

CPRA has designed this Toolkit, Gender Equity in Recreational Sport: Optimizing Facility Use, to address the issues of facility use and design, not using a “one-size-fits-all” approach, but rather by focusing on building the capacity of recreation practitioners and community sport leaders to better understand their community’s unique characteristics and needs and determine how their organizations can meet these needs.

We invite you to begin exploring these topics by starting your journey with the sections A Focus on Capacity Building and Evaluate Your Capacity. These topics will describe the approach of the Toolkit and help you determine how and where to focus your efforts on the path to gender equity in recreational sport.

To learn more about the findings that influenced the Optimizing Facility Use project’s development, click here for the Project Presentation:

English | French

Additionally, you can watch the Gender Equity Toolkit Workshop Introduction here (English only).

Next: A Focus on Capacity Building