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Donna Goguen & Samantha Mason

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Women supporting women in sport.

Donna and Samantha both fell into the world of Lacrosse in Halifax, Nova Scotia as adults.

Donna’s introduction to sports was when her two sons started playing hockey. She started to take on volunteer roles and found her passion as a community volunteer. She made the jump from hockey to lacrosse when her sons joined the lacrosse league.

“After I finished my hockey volunteering in 2004, I came over and started volunteering for a lacrosse league to help them with governance,” Donna recalls. “And I’m still here after all those years.”

Samantha was introduced to lacrosse through a friend when she graduated from high school. She was drawn to a co-ed lacrosse league that would allow her to spend time with her friends.

“The atmosphere was fun and engaging, and I was pushing myself to new limits,” Samantha said. “There were men on my team who had played at the Canada games, so it was great to get their feedback and learn from some of Canada’s top players.”

Donna had a long history of supporting and volunteering for local sport associations, encouraging female participation in sport where possible. After years of sustained community dedication, Donna developed a drive for sports leadership in Nova Scotia, which led her to take on larger leadership roles. After two terms as President of Lacrosse Nova Scotia, she took on the challenge of Executive Director where she now leads the association’s day-to-day.

Donna enjoys lacrosse because of its camaraderie and team-building aspects. The community aspect of lacrosse is what Donna believes differentiates it from other sports. As an often-underfunded sport, the sense of community attracts potential athletes.

Samantha is involved in Lacrosse Nova Scotia’s women’s masters team, which aims to get women out to play Lacrosse in the community. The team meets once a week, consisting of drills and skills for players, finishing up with a scrimmage to put their training to the test.

“It’s a male heavy sport, especially after you hit a certain age,” says Samantha. “It’s a mix of new and experienced players, and it gets people out to be active and to meet new people.”

Looking ahead, the goal is to grow the masters team program enough to break the cohort into multiple teams. This would allow the players to get the fulsome experience, like playing in tournaments.

“It’s a great way to interact with other adults while staying active and healthy,” Samantha asserts.

Lacrosse Nova Scotia is responsible for all age groups playing lacrosse across the province. During her time as Executive Director, Donna plans to prioritize outreach to under-represented communities such as African Nova Scotian and Black youth, new Nova Scotians, and women, with gender-equity and inclusivity goal across the sport.

With funding from Support4Sport, Donna will augment her work supporting and encouraging involvement of under-represented communities, expanding access to lacrosse and growing the sport across Nova Scotia.

“It’s important to me to see women take their rightful place as leaders in sport,” says Donna.

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