Sportsnet will be committing $100,000 to a new initiative focused on diversity and gender equity
Sportsnet and Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design will be teaming up to bolster diversity and inclusion in sports media through the Sportsnet Diversity and Gender Equity Initiative, a scholarship program that will start in the fall of 2020.
The goal of the initiative is for students from diverse backgrounds to feel empowered to pursue careers in sports media. Sportsnet has allotted $100,000 to FCAD’s Sport Media program and will provide four scholarships, as well as year-round diversity workshops at Ryerson’s Global Experience Sport Lab (GXS).
Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley said that diversity is their priority and he has big plans for the future of sport media.
“Sportsnet is dedicated to cultivating a new generation of media professionals that reflects Canada’s diversity,” Yabsley said. “We are tremendously excited to work with Ryerson to offer this program to sport media students.”
This initiative is for incoming students as well as current ones. Two incoming students will be selected who identify as a woman, indigenous, or a member of an equity-seeking group. Scholarships will also be awarded to two high-performing third-year students.
“Partnerships like this with Sportsnet enable(s) us to provide a unique program centred on diversity and inclusion to prepare students to become tomorrow’s change-makers and thought leaders,” FCAD Dean Charles Falzon said, regarding the importance of the partnership.
With the recent firing of Don Cherry over his insensitive comments last November, this deal seems conveniently timed but this had been in discussion since last July.
As one of Canada’s biggest sports networks, this is not Sportsnet’s first time putting a spotlight on diversity. The Punjabi edition of Hockey Night in Canada has been airing nationally for six seasons.
FCAD at Ryerson has continued to be a leader in the educational space for media, design and creative industries.