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creating positive spaces in sport


In alignment with CKO Sprint's Strategic Plan, we have developed an initiative that aims to bring programs and awareness of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) to our sport. With support from CKO Executive Director, Orest Stanko, and the CKO Sprint Board of Directors, the committee is led by Kerri-Ann Redwood, Chair and Ryan Blair, Technical Director. 

This page is divided into sub-sections that target specific groups to provide relevant sport-related resources and education opportunities. 

If you have feedback or would like to join our EDI Committee, please contact us



CKO Sprint is excited to launch our Mental Health resource page in joint with Bell Let's Talk Day. Discover resources on mental health awareness, education, and how to give and get help.


CKO Sprint has partnered with You Can Play Project! This partnership includes a significant commitment to education and training for athletes, coaches, staff and community members. You Can Play helps us strive towards a more inclusive environment that celebrates everyone. Together we are #1Community1Team


CKO Sprint ​recognizes that women and girls’ are underrepresented in all areas of sport, as coaches, athletes, leaders, and administrators. To close the gender gap in sport, CKO Sprint and our EDI advisory committee are working to build awareness, provide education and develop capacity so that our sport is more representative and inclusive for women and girls.

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Connected by Canoe is a place where we can share and celebrate Indigenous history and its influence on our sport. This is an evolving project to share resources with our community on our sports history, land acknowledgements, learning opportunities, and Indigenous sport associations.


Our black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) resource page emphasizes the importance of representation, identity, and diversity. We have created this page to share educational resources and organizations to grow as a sport community.




CKO Sprint is thrilled to announce the launch of our Leading the Way social media campaign! A campaign to feature monthly posts from members of the paddling community sharing their story in sport.

Our goal is to amplify the voices of minorities in the paddling community in hopes to inspire the next generation. In doing so, the theme of our campaign is to “be the person you needed when you were younger”.

If you would like to share your story and be included in this project please reach out!

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Leading the Way Spotlight: Ella Hodgson-Pageau

Ella Hodgson-Pageau is a retired international canoe paddler and advocate and member for the queer community. In this interview, Ella shares her experiences as a queer athlete, discussing the challenges she faced and her transition from high-performance paddling. Gain valuable insights into the intersectionality of gender identity and sports as Ella's story of courage, resilience, and determination unfolds. Discover the highs and lows of her athletic career, her decision to retire, and the importance of inclusivity in the sporting community. 



The Canoe Kayak Ontario (CKO) Sprint Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Advisory Committee assists in the equitable development of the sport of Canoe Kayak. The committee supports CKO Sprint Professional Staff and Board Members in developing, promoting, monitoring and providing advice about programs and policies that impact or address issues of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

In addition, the CKO Sprint EDI Advisory Committee provides information, advice and recommendations to the CKO Sprint Board, CKO Sprint Technical Director, and the CKO Executive Director regarding the following: 

  1. Providing opportunities for underrepresented groups to reach their full potential, both within our sport and in the community at large;

  2. Removing barriers to inclusion in the sport of flat-water sprint canoe and kayak for all citizens of Ontario; 

  3. Achieving a greater understanding of the many diverse communities in Ontario, among our membership and their needs to safely participate in our sport;


The EDI Advisory Committee will strive to achieve the goal of at least 50% representation from the BIPOC community, LGBTQ+ community and female representatives, with one Committee member being from the CKO Sprint Board. Members at Large are chosen with the intention of bringing understanding, expertise, and experience of the principles of diversity, inclusion, equity and human rights. 


Attention Attention! CKO Sprint’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion committee is looking for friends and allies to join our team!

The committee’s mandate is to listen to the voice of its membership by looking into trends in the EDI space in relation to sport, create thoughtful programming and communication pieces, provide curated resources, and implement programs related to EDI that will be most valuable and impactful to our athlete and member community.

There is no experience necessary for this 1-year term, except being willing to be a champion for change in how CKO Sprint develops its EDI programming. The time commitment includes quarterly meetings and time towards deliverables that come out of those meetings.

If this volunteer position sounds like a challenge you’d like to accept, please reach out to Ryan Blair, CKO Sprint, Technical Director for further information regarding your candidacy.

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Canadian sport organizations consistently work to adapt and improve their policies and practices. 

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The CAC is committed to developing and fostering an inclusive and diverse coaching environment for coaches and participants across Canada.

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