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Ontario University Athletics (OUA) is a conference founded in a rich history and tradition, providing a shared focus on student-athlete success in academics, athletics, and community leadership. The storied history of the OUA dates back to 1906 and has evolved greatly over time. One of the most significant steps came in 1997 when a new era of university sport in Ontario was brought in as a result of the amalgamation between the Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association (OWIAA) and the Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA).

Today, the organization has grown to reflect a robust and diverse sport environment that enhances the co-curricular learning of Ontario student-athletes. To remain the preeminent conference in Canada, this evolution must continue.

A primary group of stakeholders within our ever-developing environment across the OUA is the many talented females who enter as student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and more. The OUA is proud to offer opportunities for females to not only continue along their sport and physical activity journey beyond adolescence, but also to pursue professional prospects beyond the playing field.

Seeing 4,000+ female student-athletes put on their jerseys and represent their school, 300+ female coaches guiding their players to both athletic and academic success, and seven female athletic directors bringing their institution’s athletic and recreation programs to life demonstrates the potential across the conference. As a collective, however, there is room to grow.

As Canada’s largest inter-university sport conference, home to nearly 10,000 student-athletes across 23 sports and 39 championships, the OUA is striving to be a champion of change, so as to provide past, present, and future females the opportunity to become even greater champions in their respective fields. Through collaborative conversations, inclusive initiatives, and unwavering empowerment, the OUA wants to take the next steps in recognizing, celebrating, and positively impacting women in sport.

Sport must be viewed as an inclusive and equitable platform; one that females not only have the ability to access at every turn, but triumph within. Some may aspire to showcase their talent on the field; some may aim to pass on their knowledge to the next generation; some may dream to lead a program as a whole. Whatever those ultimate goals may be, the OUA envisions a space that provides the necessary paths, resources, and development that helps these aspiring individuals achieve their personal and professional dreams.

Over the foreseeable future, the OUA is determined to help spearhead a change in the culture of sport. Through this, we hope to help spark continued female participation and retention in athletics at the university level; empower future female leaders in the industry; and celebrate those who have already made their mark as influencers and champions.

Through this collaborative effort, we are confident that we can make a difference, because from the opening play to the final buzzer, it is important to remember that #WeAreONE.

Gord Grace

President & CEO
Ontario University Athletics