Women in Sport conference set for April after postponed in 2020

Brynn Nash, left, and Andrea Creer are this year's co-chairs of the University of New Brunswick Women in Sport conference. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

After almost a year of uncertainty, the University of New Brunswick Women in Sport conference is set to take place from April 9 to 11. Originally, the conference was set for April 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19. After Andrea Creer and Brynn Nash, who are now co-chairs, ran into each other at a coffee shop, their aspirations for the conference regenerated.

“We are keeping our same values of passion, confidence, resiliency and community going forward with the club,” said Creer.

The UNBWIS was founded in 2020 by co-chairs Mikaela Dodig and Kelsey Bond. It was created based on the inspiration and idea that universities recognize the barriers women face in the world, especially in sports.

This year, UNB students Nash and Creer are the co-chairs.

Creer is in her fifth year at UNB studying recreation and sports studies. She grew up having a huge involvement in sports but found her passion in competitive swimming, which led her to swim with the UNB Reds in previous years. Creer said her and Nash’s similar traits were important for the club.

Nash is in her fourth year at UNB, and also studies recreation and sports studies. She came to UNB for her program, the community and the opportunities Fredericton had for her. She’s played soccer for the UNB Reds the past four years.

“What’s unique about our club and our initiative is it’s all student-led,” Nash said. “We really advocate for gender equity within sport and we promote female participation and inclusion.”

The UNBWIS planned to start as a conference but this year Nash and Creer wanted to make it an annual and consistent initiative on campus.

The two got the club ratified by the UNB Student Union. Nash said the UNBWIS is committed to creating more opportunities for girls and women in sports on campus, as well as in the community.

Nash said the conference will provide great discussion and connection opportunities.

“It’s a conference for like-minded individuals from all aspects of sports to come and participate in,” said Nash.

Starting on April 9, there will be a virtual trivia night for attendees to get to know each other and to start the conversation about women in sports.

Saturday will showcase guest speakers including Erica Gavel, Canadian Paralympic athlete, as the keynote speaker. The rest of the day, the conference will hold a panel discussion with speakers about women in leadership, coaching, mental health and racial equity within sport.

Sunday will feature two workshops from the Canadian Women and Sport organization.

The registration link for the conference is now open. Nash said since it’s virtual, it’ll be more accessible for people to attend.

Nash said they want their platform to be used as a way to connect with students and influential women in business, sports, recreation and leadership.

“To also educate, provide resources and empower girls and women in ways that they can succeed in sports, and really life as well.”