Karate Canada Karate Canada


Stay in the Fight Bursary

Supporting female athletes transition into leadership roles

Karate Canada is proud to offer the Stay in the Fight Bursary, a recent initiative made possible with the generous support of the government of Canada. This program helps provide financial support for female athletes transitioning from competition to other leadership roles within the sport of karate.

The tendency for many female athletes participating in competitive karate is to halt their affiliation with the sport altogether once they stop competing; this initiative is intended to inspire them to consider and prepare for different leadership roles such as coaching, officiating or volunteering in governance or sport promotion within the local and national community.

Up to five (5) approved recipients will receive a bursary of up to $1800 each.

  • Provide support to female athletes who have retired or will soon retire from competition to help them explore, prepare for and develop along different avenues as to stay involved within the sport of karate and to continue to contribute to the success of Karate in Canada after retirement from competition.
  • Increase awareness among female athletes about various leadership opportunities available within the sport of karate.
  • Promote gender equity in leadership roles within Canadian karate.
Who can apply
  • Senior or U21 female athletes currently competing at a Provincial or National level
  • Female athletes who recently retired from competition (as a senior or U21) at a Provincial or National level

Past recipients are eligible to reapply. The same applicant can receive the bursary up to a maximum of three (3) times.

All applicants must be members/registrants in good standing of a Karate Canada recognized Provincial/Territorial Sport Organization.

How to apply

In the application form you will be asked to:

  1. Submit a transition plan in which you will:
    • Specify when you are planning on retiring (or when you retired) from competition and why
    • Identify your preferred pathway between coach, official or governance and leadership (see below for an overview of each)
    • Explain your motivations for transitioning to this role and how you hope to contribute (you can provide a letter of recommendation to bolster your application)
  2. Create a budget
    • Specifically describe how you would use the funds and fill the budget template (please note that funds received by bursary recipients must be used towards expenditures related to development activities in the chosen pathway. Expenses must be incurred between February 28th 2021 and February 27th 2022).

The deadline to apply was February 7th, 2021. Stay tuned for more information on the 2022 edition.

For any questions, contact our Program Manager at alexandra.roy@karatecanada.org


Pathways Overview


If you’re interested in teaching other athletes what you know about the sport, in encouraging them to improve their performance and in helping them reach their goals, perhaps you should consider coaching. Being a coach involves more than knowing the sport well. Coaches need to be creative and to be great communicators, as well as have the ability to lead and work within a team environment.

E.g. of Development Opportunities

  • The Coaching Association of Canada has numerous workshops for coaches including Coaching and Leading Effectively, Planning a Practice, Psychology of Performance, etc.
  • Karate Canada and its Provincial Partners offer karate-specific workshops for coaches
  • Attending a coaching conference, leadership course or mentorship program
  • Shadowing a current coach during a competition

If you’re interested in remaining involved with sport karate, why not consider refereeing and judging? After all, as a competitive athlete you already know the rules. Just apply that knowledge to a different facet of karate, the other side of the fence, so to speak. Women officials remain significantly under-represented at all levels of competition, from grassroots to international.

E.g. of Development Opportunities

  • Seeking to acquire provincial, national and international qualifications
  • Attending seminars to further your understanding of the rules
  • Attending competitions to further practice and apply previous learning
  • Teaching the competition rules themselves or rule implementation to girls and young women who are actively competing and could benefit from your experience
  • Organizing and running short fun seminars in competitive clubs during their regular training days or in concert with provincial team training

If you’re interested in shaping the future of karate within your club, province or even Canada, have you considered getting involved in governance? The Board of Directors establishes an association’s mission and helps achieve its objectives. Directors usually come from different backgrounds and retired athletes can make great leaders, with their hands-on experience and passion for the sport.

Would you enjoy inspiring people to participate in the sport of karate? Use this bursary to build on your leadership skills to advocate for the sport and increase access and inclusion. You could conduct motivational speaking at schools/conferences, organize community sport events, develop quality karate programs, etc. The goal would be to share your experiences as a female athlete to engage and motivate.

E.g. of Development Opportunities


A panel consisting of at least one (1) Karate Canada registrant from each pathway (current or past coach, official and Board member) as well as a staff member from the Canadian Women and Sport will review all applications.

Applications will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Motivations for transitioning to the chosen role is clearly stated and background information is included when relevant.
  • Future contributions/goals are described using SMART criteria (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound).
  • Budget clearly outlines the desired use of funds including an explanation of why use of the funds for this purpose would advance the applicant’s transition plan.
  • Athlete’s plan implies a contribution to the success/growth of Karate in Canada.
  • Athlete’s competitive background may be considered (duration, involvement within National/Provincial programs, achievements, international participation, etc.) and priority will be given to elite level athletes.

Selected applicants will be notified by the end of February 2021 and will receive their approved funding upon signature of the Stay in the Fight Bursary Agreement.

Past recipients

Malia Brodie, BC  Officiating
Ashtin Callaghan, AB  Coaching
Trysten Deveau, NS  Coaching
Rita Ngo, QC  Coaching
Victoria Rode, ON  Governance & Leadership







Mariah Blunt, AB  Coaching
Marianne Boulé, QC  Coaching
Hilary Pond, NB  Coaching
Hidemi Uchiage, AB  Coaching
Jusleen Virk, BC  Coaching