The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) is calling for more girls to get physically active after a new report showed that 41 per cent of those aged three to 17 do not take part in sport in Canada.
Entitled Women in Sport: Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation, the report also shows that 84 per cent of adult women do not participate in sport.
It was released by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS), in partnership with the Canada’s dairy farmers’ Fuelling Women Champions initiative - a movement aimed at breaking down the barriers that Canadian women athletes supposedly face.
The report is designed to inform, educate and inspire action across Canada so girls and women can reap all the benefits that participation in sport has to offers.
"There have been improvements in terms of engagement and participation of girls and women in sport, but as the report suggests, there is still gender inequity for Canadian women in sport," said Karin Lofstrom, executive director of the CAAWS, which strives to achieve equality for girls and women and encourage them to get active in sports and physical activity as both participants and leaders.
"The report provides statistics and findings on the inequity and provides recommendations for future action.
"I encourage you to read the report and get involved in implementing the recommendations."
The COC works with organisations such as the CAAWS, Fast and Female and FitSpirit, all of which it claims share the same goal of getting more women and girls engaged in physical activity and sport.
Olympic gold medal-winning cross-country skier Chandra Crawford founded Fast and Female in 2005 with a mission of keeping girls healthy, happy and active in sports through their teens by introducing them to inspiring athlete role models.
"We are so fortunate to live in Canada where women enjoy equal opportunities to men and our culture continues to evolve," said Crawford.
"At Fast and Female we have a lot to work with: inspiring female athletes empower the next generation and people from all walks of life and both sexes support and believe in the value of further empowering today's females in sports as tomorrow's leaders."
The COC has operated an Olympic School Programme since 1987, providing teachers and students across Canada with Olympic-themed classroom and school resources.
It also provides resources through its Give Your Everything: Get Active initiative, including tips, tools, activities and stories about some of the most-decorated Canadian female athletes.
Three-time Olympic cycling medallist Curt Harnett was yesterday named as Canada's new Chef de Mission for Rio 2016 after Jean-Luc Brassard quit the role with less than four months to go until the event for "business and personal" reasons.
Brassard, winner of an Olympic gold medal in the moguls at Lillehammer 1994 and a two-time world champion, had taken on the position in 2014 but his shock decision to step down was confirmed by the COC.
His surprise departure, which came with just 116 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016, represents a blow to Canada's preparations for the event in the Brazilian city.
It has been linked to the way the COC handled the furore concerning former President Marcel Aubut, who resigned in October following the opening of several investigations against him which are looking into alleged sexual harassment, as Brassard was reportedly unhappy with how it had been dealt with.
The shock revelations against Aubut, also a former member of the Association of National Olympic Committees Executive Council, saw him temporarily stand down from his role as COC President before he formally resigned as a result of an investigation by a woman involved in the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
To read Women in Sport: Fuelling a Lifetime of Participation, click here.