Women’s National Team Gets Additional Funding From GE Appliances Canada
Three months after GE Appliances Canada announced its intentions to direct $100,000 of funding to specifically support the women’s national team, the company has now finalized its agreement with Canada Soccer.
The deal comes one month ahead of Canada’s journey to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup set to take place in Australia and New Zealand, with head coach Bev Priestman unveiling her camp roster for such earlier this morning.
The supplemental funding will be directed towards three key areas for the women’s national team: sports science and medical innovation, technical innovation, and culture innovation – the latter of which includes support and wellness programming for players on the road during both the Women’s World Cup and Canada Soccer’s preparatory camp, too.
The news comes in the midst of a highly-public pay equity dispute between the women’s national team and Canada Soccer that has landed both parties in front of the House of Commons, where star striker Christine Sinclair said she hopes to find fair and equitable treatment in the way the women’s team is supported and paid as compared to the men’s.
It was during the early stages of these testimonies that GE Appliances Canada expressed a deep concern regarding the dispute, putting forth the offer for additional incremental funding back in March.
Now finalized, the new funding will also support women’s national team player appearances through a new mentorship program that the manufacturing giant is working on.
“We’ve made our position incredibly clear,” said Bob Park, Chief Brand Officer at GE Appliances Canada. “The time for us all to show up, for our sport and its players, is now. We’re incredibly thankful to Canada Soccer for the collaborative response to this offer. We’re proud to be able to stand behind our women’s national team where – and when – they need it most.”
The company states that its funding allocation involved consultation with women’s national team support staff, who were able to provide an inside look at where the women’s national team needs the most fiscal support.
“As we prepare to represent Canada on the world’s stage, supporting our players with the best possible environments and resources will be critical to our performance,” added women’s national team head coach Bev Priestman. “We are incredibly thankful to the entire GE Appliances Canada team for their partnership and support, which will help us leverage key innovations as we continue our journey into Australia.”
The $100,000 in additional funds is specifically for the women’s national team, and comes in addition to the company’s existing financial commitments to Canada Soccer, with GE Appliances Canada having signed on a corporate partner last year.
Following this year’s string of dramatic testimonies regarding the pay equity dispute, Canada’s Minister of Sport recently put forth a requirement that Canada Soccer will need to undergo an audit and accept new funding conditions if it is to continually recieve federal funding.
Canada Soccer has since accepted all of the conditions put forth by the minister.
The Canadian national women’s team has found itself in a World Cup group with host country Australia along with Nigeria and the Republic of Ireland. Bev Priestman’s squad will kick things off against Nigeria on July 20.