AnnouNCING Student Leadership Team

GXSLab Partners with She's4Sports

Sept 5, 2019


The Global Experiential Sport Lab at Ryerson University partners with She’s4Sports to move the dial on issues that impact women in sport.


TORONTO, September 5, 2019 – The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXSLab), based at Ryerson University’s FCAD, the Faculty of Communication and Design, is teaming up with She’s4Sports, an organization that focuses on giving women a larger voice in sports. 

Through the GXSLab,both organizations will collaborate to amplify the contributions of women in sport and address gender diversity and barriers women and girls face in sport. The Own It event, which is the first initiative led by the two organizations, kicks off on September 17 at Ryerson and will highlight the achievements of six diverse female entrepreneurs in sport.

“The GXS Lab is a natural fit with She’s4Sports, as it focuses on bridging the gap between scholars, students, faculty and industry, to address issues and trends that impact the ever-evolving sport and sport media industry. This includes diversity and issues that impact women and girls with the goal to mobilize change and eventually achieve equitable opportunities for women and girls to participate in sports on all levels,” says Laurel Walzak, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University, RTA School of Media, Sport Media, and Director of the GXSLab.

Both organizations will work together to create event programming and digital content to engage the students, academic and sports communities on gender diversity in sport and develop opportunities for female students at Ryerson to participate in the sports industry through industry mentorship,” says Ainka Jess, Founder She’s4Sports. “This partnership will not only create a safe space for women to come together to discuss sports but will transform the narrative and even the playing field for women and girls to thrive in sports without barriers.” 

The GXSLab is housed at FCAD’s Catalyst, a 5,000 square foot interdisciplinary research hub, home to 20 labs and centres with a mission is to promote and support the Faculty’s SRC. 

The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXSLab)
The GXSLab is the connection between scholarly research and industry practice in sport and sport media. GXS focuses on the intersection between Globalization; Digitization; and Commercialization. Under the GXS Lab’s Gender in Sport platform, it’s GXS Women in Sport is an initiative and a community for women and men to come together and engage in activities and discussions related to gender inequities in sport, sport media and sport business. The GXSLab is physically based at Ryerson’s downtown Toronto campus within the Catalyst, FCAD’s interdisciplinary research hub.

She’s4Sports is a Toronto-based digital and events platform that brings women together to have a larger voice in sports. The network represents a community of over 3000 passionate women and men who want to amplify and celebrate the contributions of women in sports. 

FCAD at Ryerson University
Ryerson FCAD is an impactful education hub and innovation ecosystem at the heart of Canada's media design and creative industries. It is grounded in Canadian values but with a truly international perspective and scope. It is home to many of Canada's top schools and programs in their field and recognized as a leading institution around the world.



Laurel Walzak, Assistant Professor

Ryerson University, RTA School of Media, Sport Media 

Director, The Global Experiential Sport Lab (GXSLab) 

Ainka Jess, Founder







  • Hockey & Basketball
  • Gender Equity & Inclusion in Sport 
  • Women in Sport  
  • Sport Business
  • Professional Sport
  • Sport Governance
  • Sport Media


Quotes:--ON SPORT MEDIA: "It’s understanding the fan and how to monetize the viewing consumption experience is exactly what everyone is trying to figure out," said Walzak.

--ON SPORT SPONSORSHIP: "In the end, it’s likely McDonald’s decided it needed to change its overall marketing strategy and the Olympics were no longer a good fit. The Olympic brand, however, still faces its own challenges", Walzak wrote.

--ON BODYBUILDING: “Don’t hesitate – sometimes women are afraid to go into the weight room because it’s predominantly men in there, but I can tell you from experience that they are usually helpful and supportive,” she says. “I recommend working with a trainer or using a buddy system with a friend, and celebrate every milestone. And it doesn’t matter your shape or size because when you are physically strong, you go through your life also feeling strong and confident, said Walzak.


1. CTV News, October 8, 2019, NBA and China

2. Full Stream Ahead by Jeff Hamilton, Winnipeg Free Press Laurel's opinion on Broadcast and Streaming Sports   "It’s about trying to get a piece of a very lucrative pie that comes with owning the streaming rights for live sports," said Laurel Walzak, an assistant professor who specializes in sports media at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University in Toronto.

3. The Olympic-McDonald’s breakup: It’s not you, it’s us, by L. Walzak via The Conversation

4. Business of the Mayweather vs. McGregor Mega Fight (CBC Radio Interviews)

5. Laurel's Expertise Broadcast and Streaming Sports Article 

6. Laurel's Opinion - Mayweather vs. McGregor "Mega Fight" August 25, 2017

7. Laurel's Opinion  - Cam Newton comment shines light on women's struggles in sports reporting via @torontostar  October 5, 2017 by Maija Kappler

8. China Europe International Business School, CEIBS, Shanghai, China

9. WiSE

10. DAIS/Bell Media/ Ryerson

11. Business & Burn Out 

12. 500 Women Are Transforming Canada's Economic Strengths

13. International Women's Day


June 5, 2018 

Video gamers may soon be paid more than pro athletes co-authored with Dr. Louis-Etienne Dubois, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University

February 9, 2018

via Washington Post Olympic Athlete's Love McDonald's.  But its role in PyeongChang will be the smallest in decades.

October 5, 2017 

Via Toronto Star Article: Cam Newton comment shines light on women's struggles in sports reporting by Maija Kappler (opinion L. Walzak) 

September 20, 2017

Jay Onrait inspires Ryerson’s first sport media generation

August 26, 2017

Bars hope to Cash in on Mayweather and McGregor fight, Walzak weighs in

August 25, 2017  

Tune in to learn what Laurel Walzak thinks about the Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregar "Mega Fight" on CBC Radio

Big money fight

SCHEDULE - August 25, 2017  6am to 9am EST

5:45  Toronto--Metro Morning  Matt Galloway 

6:10  LONDON - London Morning  Host: Rebecca Zandbergen     

6:20    Ottawa - Ottawa Morning Hallie Cotnam

6:50    Cape Breton (Sydney) - Steve Sutherland

7:20  Winnipeg - Information Radio  Marcy Markusa 

7:40  Windsor - Windsor Morning  Tony Doucette 

7:50  Ontario AM  Wei Chen 

8:00  Whitehorse - A New Day  Sandi Coleman 

8:10    Calgary--The Eyeopener  David Gray      

8:30    Prince George / Prince Rupert - Daybreak North  Hosts: Robert Doane (PG) Carolina DeRyk 

8:40    Regina - The Morning Edition  Host: Sheila Cole

8:50  Vancouver - The Early Edition  Rick Cluff 

July 11, 2017

The Conversation - McDonald's and the Olympics by Laurel Walzak

March 8, 2017 

What does international women's day mean to you?