Review of Playing It Forward, by Evelyn C. White

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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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