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Canada Basketball

Canada Basketball aims to spread #madlove in March with the return of the Women in Basketball Speaker Series

TORONTO, Ont. (February 14, 2022) After a successful debut in 2021, the Women in Basketball Speaker Series, presented by Penny Appeal, returns next month for a second season as we continue to celebrate and empower women across all aspects of our game.

Season two will tip off again on March 8, International Women’s Day and will feature a month of panel discussions and professional development opportunities.  Attendees can gain access to each of the 11 sessions hosted by Canada Basketball over the course of the month for just $25.

Not only does your registration fee include unlimited access throughout the month to over 12 hours of programming but for each registration, the Canada Basketball Foundation will provide a matching donation of the $25 fee to Canadian Women & Sport as they work to continue advancing gender equity in basketball and all community sport.

As a thank you, registered participants will also be able to access the “Keeping Girls in Sport” e-learning module ($17 value). Access information will be distributed to all participants via email at the end of March and will be valid for a 60 day period. Designed for coaches and activity leaders, this e-learning module is focused on addressing common motivators and barriers for girls in sport, navigate the ways girls and boys experience sport environments differently throughout their development stages, how to foster positive sport environments for girls, and ultimately keep girls engaged in sport.

The month-long series will feature prominent and influential female players, coaches, officials and executives who have made significant contributions to basketball across Canada and globally.

With a focus on influential members from both the past and present within the Canadian basketball community, speakers will not only share their journey with the game, but how each is committed to using basketball as a platform for change to inspire the next generation.  Sessions will also feature audience Q & A segments where attendees will be given the opportunity to interact with some of basketball’s best.

In collaboration with Canadian Women & Sport, Canada Basketball will also be offering professional development workshops on a variety of topics throughout the month including retaining girls in sport & physical activity, leading with confidence, 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and the importance of women on boards. These workshops will be offered for an additional cost of $15 each per session.

Each week will focus on different aspects of the game including playing, coaching, officiating and development:

With a focus on the business side of basketball, this week is aimed at expanding career opportunities, enhancing the various pathways for women and showcasing the experiences and expertise of women who are leading the way. Participants will have a chance to get an inside look into the various roles and careers within the basketball world.

The Tip-off: How Women’s Basketball Continues to Drive Social Change

Tuesday, March 8th @ 7:00 PM ET

Speakers: Natalie Achonwa, Laeticia Amihere, Kia Nurse

Host: Danielle Michaud

These Canadian Basketball athletes have been spreading mad love and leading the way on and off the court. This session will highlight the progress of the women’s game and how women’s basketball continues to be at the forefront of the push for social change while setting new standards for social activism.

Career Cafe: Crashing The Glass (Ceiling) of the Basketball Industry

Thursday, March 10 @ 7:00 PM ET

Speakers: Zaileen Janmohamed (LA28), Carrier Oehm (NBA Top Shop), Annie Larouche (Montreal Alliance)

Host: Miranda Ayim

The representation of women working in roles off the court is rapidly growing in many sectors of the game. This session will highlight women in various off-court roles who play a vital role in the success of their organization and engagement with the basketball community. Participants can expect to hear from high-achieving executives from across the basketball landscape including technology, marketing, and basketball operations.

If you’re a coach (or have considered becoming a coach) you won’t want to miss this week.  Participants will have the chance to learn about the various coaching pathways firsthand from some of the game’s elite female coaches and mentors. Programming for these sessions will also focus on the key tools that can be used when coaching girls and how best to create a safe, fun and inclusive environment.

See It, Be It: The Role of Mentorship on the Coaching Pathway

Tuesday, March 15 @ 7:00 PM ET

Speakers: Isabelle Cayer, Lee Anna Osei, Fabienne Blizzard, Sharolyn Higgs, Allison Mcneill, Michele Sung

Host: Savannah Hamilton

Mentorship is well known as an effective strategy to retain, develop and advance women in the workforce. It’s also an effective tool to help increase the number of women coaching in Canada. In this session, participants learn about some key mentorship programs in Canada, and hear first-hand from elite and up-and-coming coaches how these relationships have affected their coaching.

Coaching Women and Girls

Wednesday, March 16th @ 7:00 PM ET

Speaker: Vanessa Wallace (Canadian Women in Sport)

Host: Canada Basketball Staff

Research tells us that coaching girls is in fact different from coaching boys. In this session, our speaker will lead participants through these differences and provide strategies for coaches to best engage with their athletes so they can be their best selves on and off the court.

For the Love of a Nation: Coaching Professional vs National Teams

Saturday, March 19 @ 3:00 PM ET

Speaker: Noelle Quinn

Host: Miranda Ayim

The professional environment is significantly different from the national team environment. In this session, our speaker will discuss her experience in both coaching contexts and how she uses the knowledge she has gained in each setting to be the best coach she can, for her club and country.

Sessions this week will focus around how individuals, organizations and communities can continue to work together to expand the growth and participation of not only basketball, but sport in general, for girls and young women. By bringing together sport leaders from across Canada and around the world, participants will learn firsthand some best practices on ways we can work together to ensure they continue to play our game.  

One Team: Bringing Different Cultural Groups to the Court

Tuesday, March 22 @ 7:00 PM ET



The Canadian basketball landscape is made up of a diverse group of cultures, and these organizations are utilizing basketball to unite these cultural groups from coast to coast to coast. In this session, we chat with various groups across the country who are uniting the women in their culture through the game of basketball.

Future G.O.A.T.s: Successfully Building Youth Programs That Keep Girls in Sport

Wednesday, March 23 @ 7:00 PM ET



Building a basketball program for girls comes with vast rewards, but it doesn’t come without challenges as well. In this session, we will hear from organizations sharing their tips and best practices for designing girls-only programming in the sport sector.

Beyond the Boxscore: Basketball as a Way To Drive Social Responsibility

Thursday, March 24 @ 7:00PM ET


Host: Canada Basketball Staff

Not only do athletes drive social responsibility, but there are many women in leadership positions that utilize CSR to build and generate the current and future fan base that will positively contribute to the business goals of basketball. We will hear firsthand how a leader in this position manages the social, environmental, and economic effects of its operations responsibly while aligning with public expectations.

This week will examine the pathway of women referees in the game from competition here in Canada to elite international performance. This week will highlight some influential women in the officiating world who are putting Canada on the map around the globe.

Exploring Leadership in Officiating

Monday, March 28 @ 7:00 PM ET

Speakers: Christine Vuong, Alicia Bird-Smith, Shelley Quintos, Joanna Wiegers

Host: Maria van Gelder

There is no shortage of barriers for women officiating in Canada. However, there is a remarkable amount of women leading the way. This panel will explore the journey of women in leadership positions, how you can get involved to contribute as a leader and facilitate overcoming barriers.

Preparing for National Championships

Tuesday, March 29 @ 7:00 PM ET

Speakers: Karen Lasiuk, Georgia Risnita, Brooke Briscoe

Host: Dawn Smyth

What goes into preparing to work as a referee on Canada’s elite stages? This session provides an opportunity to hear from 5 panelists on how they prepare physically and mentally for a National Tournament assignment, and how officials might prepare differently to ensure they meet their championship goals.

A Year in the Life of an Elite Referee

Wednesday, March 30 @ 7:00 PM ET



A Canadian and one of the finest referees in the world, MP Malo has had an extraordinary 12 months of success. From the Championship game of the FIBA U19 World Cup, the first woman to work a Championship game at a major men’s tournament, to an Olympic Gold Medal Game, to the G-league –MP will give insight into her incredibly successful year and her various experiences along the way.

About Penny Appeal

Penny Appeal Canada is a relief and development organization with a really BIG vision for the world. We want to create the best societies we can and break the cycles of need and poverty for good. That’s a huge goal, so we have become adept at turning small change into a BIG DIFFERENCE.