“Sport and recreation gives me the confidence to pursue my dreams and goals outside of sport and motivates me to open more doors for females within sport – at a coach and athlete level,”
Did you know girls drop out of sports at six times the rate of boys in their early teens?
Grace Dafoe, MRU alumna, physical literacy advocate, and 2022 Olympic hopeful in Skeleton, is part of a movement of inspirational female role models that intends to put a stop to this mass exodus of girls from sport.
Dafoe participates in events several times each year to mentor girls as part of Fast and Female, a non-profit organization that has a mission of keeping girls healthy, happy and active in sports through their teens. As an early specialized athlete in figure skating, Dafoe understands first-hand the pressures girls experience while participating in sports.
While she competed as a figure skater throughout her childhood and teenage years, Dafoe made the difficult decision to focus solely on her education during her first year studying Physical Literacy at Mount Royal University. Between hours of skating on-ice and conditioning off-ice every day, learning choreography, maintaining an athlete’s diet and dealing with the pressure of being a competitive athlete (all while trying to maintain good grades and a semblance of a social life), it’s no wonder that at the age of 18, she’d had enough.
It wasn’t long after she quit figure skating that she was invited to try skeleton for the first time, a sport that instantly appealed to her. Dafoe is now one of the top female competitors across Canada in the sport, making her a pretty remarkable role model for young girls facing challenges as they participate in sport.
“Sport and recreation gives me the confidence to pursue my dreams and goals outside of sport and motivates me to open more doors for females within sport – at a coach and athlete level,” said Dafoe.
Given the many projects she has on the go at any given time, it’s clear that she has the confidence to pursue anything she sets her mind to. As she goes forward in her career and her sport, there is no doubt this Mount Royal alumna will continue to #PressforProgress, empowering women at all levels.