Women & Girls Sports Fund

The Women & Girls Sport Fund (WGSF) is an initiative of ISWO, under it’s Women & Girls program.  The program is intended to increase opportunities for women and girls to participate in sport, recreation, and physical activity while empowering through increased confidence, capacity and knowledge. The fund is also focused on removing barriers, providing access to resources and  decreasing at-risk behaviours, which can have long-term negative consequences, through education and support. The WGSF supports projects that utilize sport as a positive agent to impact social change, helping to achieve social development outcomes in Indigenous communities, specifically for female populations. Proposals that outline how culturally grounded sport, recreation and physical activity opportunities will support overall wellness, for women and girls, will be considered for funding. 

The WGSF is intended to make community sport, physical activity, and Indigenous approaches to wellness more accessible to women and girls of all ages and abilities. ISWO encourages remote and rural communities where sport-related opportunities are fewer, and large urban Indigenous populations where low participation rates may exist, to apply.

The WGSF is supported through contributions from the Government of Canada, under STREAM 1 of the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) initiative, administered by Sport Canada.

What type of programs are eligible for the WGSF?

WGSF funding is for wide-ranging community sport and recreation programming, specifically aimed at supporting the participation and/or retention of Indigenous women and girls in sport and recreation programming and pursuits through four social development outcomes. The four social development outcomes of this funding stream are to build capacity, enhance safety and wellbeing, increase confidence, education, employability, and reduce at-risk behaviours that reduce opportunities for women and girls to be healthy and safe. 

For the purposes of this fund, “sport” is being defined broadly.  Activities that could be viewed as recreational or cultural are permissible if they include a physical activity component, and are chosen and supported by the community. The WGSF is distinct from sport development as it is focused on the achievement of community social development needs, specifically in relation to enhancing wellness and opportunities for women and girls. Your project must also be designed in a way that includes measurable outcomes for the four community social development needs. 

Applicants must demonstrate how their project will:

  • Lead to new or continued sport participation opportunities for women and girls;
  • Increase the number of women and girls involved in organized sport activities in their community; 
  • Increase the capacity of the community to deliver additional or enhanced sport, recreation, and physical activity programming, specifically for women and girls, as a direct result of this funding; and
  • In addition, applicants must demonstrate how their project will encourage and enhance women and girls’ participation in sport through all stages of life.

Who can apply for the WGSF?

  • First Nation, Métis or Inuit (FNMI) community associations located in Ontario;
  • Established Indigenous women and girls or youth groups focused on women and girls in Ontario;
  • Indigenous not-for-profit organizations located in Ontario;
  • A First Nation, Inuit, or Métis governing body, an Indigenous provincial/territorial organization or authority in Ontario; or
  • Not-for-profit organizations, clubs, and associations, located in Ontario, that directly influence organized sport delivery in Indigenous communities, in consultation and collaboration with those communities.

ISWO is responsible for determining the eligibility of each applicant, their project, and project-related expenses. Please note that the WGSF is intended to support Indigenous women and girls located in the province of Ontario; all activities and programs related to the funding request must take place in the province of Ontario.

How to apply

Read the WGSF Application Guidelines in their entirety before completing the WGSF Application (linked below). You must meet all the eligibility criteria requirements and submit a complete application package to be considered for funding. A complete application package includes the Application Form and letter of support from the leadership of the Indigenous community or organization benefiting from the project.


  • Complete, sign and date the Application Form;
  • Attach the letter of support from the community/organization; and
  • Submit your application through only one means, either by email, mail, or by fax.

Email Submissions

We encourage you to submit your application package electronically to the following email address: info@iswo.ca.

The email must be sent no later than 11:59 pm EST on November 30, 2022 for your application to be considered.