Review of Playing It Forward, by Evelyn C. White

Below is an excerpt from the spring 2014 edition of Herizon magazine’s review of our 2013 title.

In the aftermath of the Winter 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, readers with an interest in the history of women and sport in Canada will savour Playing It Forward.

In “Marginal Belonging,” Paralympics bronze medalist Danielle Peers discusses the triumphs and trials of playing wheelchair basketball.

“(Officials) had decided to mandate the smaller ball into the women’s wheelchair game”, Peers writes. “It was sold to us as a favour, a service, a physiological inevitability. After all, women are weaker than men… Apparently, shooting without a penis was a serious detriment to strength.”

Discrimination against gays and lesbians in Russia emerged as a lightning-rod issue during the Sochi Games. An acclaimed volleyball coach who came out as a lesbian in the early 1980s, Betty Baxter details the derailment of her career following false allegations that she was sexually involved with a player. In her must-read essay, “Homophobia, Hypocrisy and Power Abuse,” she reveals that she felt betrayed by other lesbian coaches who failed to defend her because of their inappropriate relationships with athletes.

Playing It Forward celebrates the strides Canadian women have made in sport and examines the hurdles yet to be overcome.

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Femmes et sport: rebonds vers la victoire

La Gazette des femmes has just published an article featuring Playing It Forward, called Femmes et sport: rebonds vers la victoire. Read it here.

« C’est comme si chaque fois que nous, les filles, on obtient quelque chose, on l’enlevait aux gars. C’est culturel : c’est un peu par le sport que les garçons apprennent à être de vrais gars. »

“Each time we girls obtained something, it was seen to be taking something away from the boys. That’s the culture: sports were how guys learned to be guys.”

— Guylaine Demers, PhD, professeure au département d’éducation physique de l’Université Laval

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ProMOTION Plus celebrates Playing It Forward

In October, 2013, at its Vancouver conference, In Her Footsteps, ProMOTION Plus celebrated the launch of Playing It Forward. Several contributors were on hand to sign copies.

Top to bottom: 1) signed copies 2) Marion Lay, Patti Hunter, the Honourable Coralee Oakes, Sandry Kirby, Trisha Smith 3) Charmaine Crooks. Photos by Christine Graham.

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Restore Our Anthem

Have you heard about this campaign? Let’s include all of “us” in the lyrics. Visit the website to make your views known now!

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Now Available – Playing It Forward: 50 Years of Women and Sport in Canada

Our 4th book is out! Edited by Guylaine Demers, Lorraine Greaves, Sandra Kirby and Marion Lay, this book takes us inside the world of sport in Canada. It shines a light on the efforts of a wide range of players, from school girls fighting for the opportunity to play, to politicians and academics defining policy and developing theory. What they have in common is the courage to take chances, make claims and serve as role models.

Women’s full physical prowess can threaten assumptions about gender. The struggle to achieve equality in sport has been integral to the feminist mission of the past 50 years. This book contains an inspiring collection of stories from those on the front lines: athletes, coaches, educators, and activists who stuck their necks out to bring about change.

To read these stories is to swell with pride over the victories, to empathize with those whose efforts were toppled by discrimination, and to become re-energized to confront collectively the many hurdles left to clear.

To get your copy, please click the “JOIN” button to become a member or renew for 2013.

To find out about book launches in your part of the country, please email

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