Over the last 50 years, the struggles to achieve equity in sport have become central to the feminist mission. This book contains an inspiring collection of stories from the women on the front lines: athletes, coaches, educators, and activists for women's sport, who have done so much to foster change. Many of the women profiled here reflect on their tough beginnings in sport: being isolated and unconnected, competing in makeshift settings, training alone, and inadequate equipment. But they also reflect on the joy of movement, teamwork, and competition. These women grew to be remarkable role models and helped to dismantle sexism in sport. To read these stories is to swell with pride over their victories, to empathize with their battles with discrimination, and to become re-energized to confront collectively the many hurdles left to clear.
Among these stories and essays are profiles of women who excelled in competition, but also those lesser-known heroes who laboured behind the scenes to create opportunities, gain media coverage, and change policy and law. Playing It Forward is a history book, a resource, and an attempt to ensure that the work of Canadian women to break down barriers in a (still) largely male dominated arena is not forgotten.
"For anyone who is or has been involved in women's sports as an athlete, coach, official, administrator or parent, Playing it Forward will open many eyes to the myriad issues women have faced over the past 50 years, and to what has been achieved by those courageous enough to fight for their right to play, compete and participate on an equal footing with men. It should be required reading in women's studies and Canadian sports history courses across the country."