Ultimate Canada Conference Highlights
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to attend the Ultimate Canada Conference in Burnaby, British Columbia. With the beautiful mountains of BC as the backdrop, ultimate organizers from Canada and the US met to network, discuss programming, and shape the future of ultimate in Canada.
First and foremost, we want to recognize how lucky we are that our national governing body, Ultimate Canada, has values grounded in inclusion–which was the theme of this year's conference. We were happy to speak to old friends, meet new friends, and thank organizers and changemakers in our community for making a difference.
We were also proud of sharing an update on what we've been focusing on at VC: a push towards equity in everything we do, updating our website to be bilingual and adding a French Representative to our company, our brand new single layer reversible jersey, and finally announcing that as of Spring 2019, all custom fully sublimated jerseys will be made from post-consumer recycled plastics. More to come of the last one!
But most of all, we are grateful for how much we learned from all the presenters at the conference. The weekend saw dozens of sessions led by inspiring members of our community, and we want to thank those people for sharing with us. We'd love to highlight every single session, however, we're going to stick to four.
Charmaine Crooks Shares Experiences
Five-time Olympian Charmaine Crooks shared her experiences as an athlete and a sport management professional. From her Olympics experience, to working with VANOC and various boards and projects, this fireside discussion reviewed a variety of themes related to the development of sport and the challenges of building an inclusive sport community.
Charmaine Crooks is legitimately the coolest. So great to meet her.
How Can We Make Ultimate LGBTQ2+ Inclusive
In this highly interactive workshop, participants were given an opportunity to reflect on some of their own experiences of feeling welcomed and connected to ultimate, as well as into other sports environments. Then, through multiple fast-paced dialogues with one another, participants began to expose new ideas on LGBTQ2+ inclusivity, acted as both 'listener' and 'contributor', and collaborated to identify actionable items to take home and implement in their own leagues and clubs.
A photo of the brainstorming some of the participants did at the LGBTQ2+ session.
Partnerships in First Nations Communities
This session reviewed the activities offered through Skill Ready and Indigenous Sport, Physically Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC). Skills Ready is an initiative of the Construction Foundation of BC which empowers young people to develop the attributes that can help them be successful in work and life. ISPARC leads programming to improve the health outcomes of Indigenous people across British Columbia by supporting and encouraging physically active communities and by expanding access to sport and recreation opportunities.
Mike Grant talking to us about the work being done with First Nations Communities in British Columbia.
Creating an Inclusive Board Culture
Led by Shannon Foster, a presenter for the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), this session took an organization-focus to explore how to create an inclusive board culture, the value of adding women to your board, and strategies to recruit more women.
Here's a slide that stood out to us: a clear chart showing we need more women in positions of power.
As the conference ends and participants return to their own communities, we can't help but feel hopeful. If the collection of people who attended the conference symbolizes the state of Canadian ultimate, we're confident that 2019 will be a productive year filled with inclusivity, forward-thinking policy changes, and many more amazing events.
We can't wait to be a part of it.