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1.8 million Coaches Support Canadian Sport

February 7, 2008 (Ottawa, ON) – The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) is encouraged by today’s Statistics Canada report, Sports Participation in Canada, 2005, which revealed that the number of amateur, volunteer coaches in Canada has reached 1.8 million, or seven per cent of the total population. Female coaches outnumbered their male counterparts by a slight margin with 882,000 women and 874,000 men coaching.

The 1.8 million coaches is an increase from the 1.7 million reported in 1998 and is more than twice the 840,000 reported in 1992. The 882,000 women coaches is a 15% increase over 1998 and is more than four times the total in 1992. The number of male coaches fell 9% during the same 13-year period.

CAC chair Dr. Jean-Marie De Koninck of Quebec City said: “We are very pleased by these numbers, which demonstrate the key role coaches play in the delivery of Canadian sport. Together with our delivery partners, we will continue to reach out to these individuals through the delivery of a leading-edge coaching education system that will unlock the value of these coaches and ultimately, the potential of their athletes.”

CAC’s Women in Coaching (WiC) program is a national campaign to increase the number of coaching opportunities for women at all levels of sport. “This information is a very positive demonstration of the progress being made by women in moving from the sidelines into coaching,” says CAC’s WiC consultant Sheilagh Croxon of Toronto. “Given the ongoing WiC initiatives, we expect that the increases in the number of women coaching at all levels of the sport system will continue and this can only benefit Canada’s participants and athletes.”

The Statistics Canada report is based on data collected in the General Social Survey (2005) with the specific report focusing on the examination of participation in sports by 19,600 adults, defined as aged 15 and over. In addition to being asked how they spent their time and how regularly they participated in any sport during the 12 months prior, respondents were also asked whether they or any other household member had participated in amateur sport as a coach, sports official/referee/umpire, administrator, or helper. The report defined sport as mainly team or organized activity and regularly was defined as at least once a week.

The Coaching Association of Canada is a not-for-profit amateur sport organization with the mission of enhancing the experiences of all Canadian athletes through quality coaching. The CAC and its partners deliver a leading-edge coaching system whose goal is to impact 1,000,000 Canadian athletes through the training of 100,000 coaches per year in the National Coaching Certification Program. Visit www.coach.ca for more information about coach education and training.

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