Olympic Inspiration Reaches Girls Through Education Initiative

TORONTO – Today, Olympian, Commonwealth gold medallist, 2010 World silver medallist and 10-time national wrestling champion Ohenewa Akuffo (Brampton, ON) shared her inspirational stories about her determination to achieve her potential with girls and young women from across Canada during an interactive conference delivered by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Plan Canada’s Because I Am A Girl. The initiative is put in place to coincide with activities surrounding International Women’s Day on March 8th.

“I’m thankful for any opportunity to address so many young girls and women who want to make a difference in their own lives — in Canada and around the world,” said Akuffo. “As an Olympian, I’m especially excited to share how much sport has positively impacted my own life. I’m proud to have the chance to show more young women how it can positively impact theirs.”

Akuffo is just one of an ever-increasing number of female Olympians who are using their profile to empower young women and girls across the country.

“Both Summer and Winter Olympians act as aspirational figures who persevere to achieve their dreams through sport, physical activity and the Olympic Values of Excellence, Respect and Friendship,” said Canadian Olympic Committee Board Member and educator Martha Deacon.

“In the sport community, we are fortunate to have so many outstanding female role models to inspire the young girls and women of our nation,” said Deacon. “Whether it is International Women’s Day, or any other day of the year, Canada’s Olympians are not only role models for our girls and young women in this country — they are examples of leadership and excellence to youth all around the world.”

“The Young Women on the Move conference is a wonderful opportunity for TDSB students to come together to celebrate International Women’s Day and discuss issues facing girls today,” said Donna Quan, Director of Education, Toronto District School Board. “We’re thrilled that Ohenewa Akuffo was able to participate this year by sharing her inspiring story with our students.”

During today’s interactive conference, girls had the opportunity to interact with female students living across Canada and around the world, share ideas and identify with being a girl or women, what barriers they are facing and how they are breaking through them.

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