With the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team and other high-profile female athletes in recent years drawing a healthy share of the sports media limelight, there is a perception that Canadian women are finally getting into sport in a big way. Not true. Canadian women have been playing and competing since the latter part of the nineteenth century, eager to participate and partake of the benefits that sports and physical exertion bring.
From the beginning, social obstacles have made the playing field uneven for women. The resistance has used everything from arguments about unladylike dress and deportment and the dangers of exercise for Canada's future mothers, to barriers to sports facilities and overt harassment. Yet schoolgirls, society women and working-class women have relished sport and fought for their right to play and compete, with grit and dignity. Often their efforts have been honoured by city and provincial sports halls of fame, but their achievements are still little known.
This book, illustrated throughout, tells the story of pioneering women athletes, and of the early sports media -- some of Canada's first women sportswriters --who championed them every step of the way.