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University of Calgary opens new Women in Sport tribute display

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The University of Calgary has a new Women in Sport tribute display, which is just part of the Faculty of Kinesiology’s plan to improve recognition and opportunities for female athletes.

“Sport really sets young girls and women up for success later in life,” said Penny Werthner - U of C provost (interim) and Olympic track and field athlete.

The permanent display features sports memorabilia from the personal collection of the late Joan Snyder, a philanthropist and ardent supporter of women’s hockey.

Items include a Team Canada hockey jersey signed by Hayley Wickenheiser, a women in winter sport stamp collection featuring Olympic medalists Clara Hughes (speed skating and cycling), Danielle Goyette (hockey) and Nancy Greene (alpine skiing) and memorabilia from the 1988 Calgary Winters Olympics and the Dinos.

Hundreds of other items in the collection will be auctioned off to the public online to fund awards for female student athletes at the university.

“Looking at creating more scholarships for more women athletes, an area that’s been underlooked across the Canadian sport landscape,” said Nick Holt, Dean of Kinesiology.

These awards will help recipients achieve their academic and athletic dreams by reducing financial constraints.

“It’s really expensive especially as an athlete and you have all these other priorities, so the scholarship fund.. even a little goes a long way. I think it’s not just the money as well, it’s also the acknowledgment,” said Grace Lew, a member of the Dinos wrestling team.

U of C wrestling team member Grace Lew. (Photo: Alesia Fieldberg, CTV News)

The 2024 Canada West wrestling champion touts the benefits of keeping girls in sport as they become women.

“Unfortunately for girls there’s such a high drop-out rate but I’m hoping events like this show you can go really far in sport.”

The online auction includes items from the Calgary Flames, past NHL greats, CFL football and notable female athletes. The auction is live now.

Snyder was a successful businesswoman and long-time donor to UCalgary. When she passed away at the age of 90 in April 2022, she left the university a $67.5 million memorial gift and her massive sports memorabilia collection.

Some of that money is going toward researching women and girls in sport through the U of C’s Kinesiology Faculty.

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