Untitled Document

Women's Agency and the
Development of Women's Intercollegiate Athletics,
1961-2001[1]

Patrick J. Harrigan

“The growing tendency among the girls for this sort of exercise may, at some future date, culminate in the millennium when the women undergraduates shall have a gymnasium of their own.”[2] That hope was expressed in Torontonensis in 1899. It took until November 2, 1959 for the dream to be realized when Dr. Clara C. Benson, President of the Women’s Athletic Association from 1922 to1945, “was given the honour of unveiling the plaque commemorating the opening of the [Women’s Athletic] building,”[3] renamed the Benson Building on February 24, 1961. Women had been raising private money for that building since at least 1911, when the Massey Foundation donated $125,000.[4] The vignette reveals the themes of this article – the long history of women’s athletics, especially in central Canada, where the proximity of a few universities made intercollegiate events practical; women’s agency in developing their own athletic programs; and the secondary place that women’s athletics have occupied institutionally.

Although three excellent overviews of Canadian sport have recently appeared, they give little attention to university sport.[5] Yet intercollegiate sport is one of the most sensitive areas for gender because the women who attended university were, until recently, primarily white, middle-class women who were especially subject to cultural expectations of marriage and motherhood. For this study, I consulted heretofore unexplored archives of Canadian Interuniversity Sport in Ottawa and of regional women’s associations. After examining archival and published sources, I interviewed about twenty physical educators who were involved in important decisions. I also interviewed sixteen athletes concerning their experiences. This article examines foundations of women’s sports, new initiatives after 1960, the formation of a national organization of women physical educators, and the experiences of selected women athletes.

The beginning of “athletics for ladies” at Canadian universities is obscure but dates at least from 1893. The first Torontonensis, published in 1898, mentioned the formation of a “Ladies Tennis Club” at the University of Toronto in 1893. “Athletics” implied exercise more than competitive sport. The same term applied to men’s sports at first, but those quickly became more competitive. By the turn of the century, young women at Toronto engaged in basketball, fencing, field and ice hockey, and tennis. Women at Alberta, Dalhousie, and McGill were playing basketball and hockey within the next decade as middle-class women liberated themselves from Victorian attitudes.[6] In both men’s and women’s university athletics, there was a natural progression from informal to intramural to intercollegiate competition.[7]

Women at McGill, Queen’s, and Toronto established their own separate governing body, the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WIAU), in 1921 – a half-century before Title IX in the United States, an affirmative-action model, laid the basis for serious women’s intercollegiate athletic programs there. The WIAU conducted its first intercollegiate championships in hockey, swimming, and basketball, 1921-22. Women sportswriters covered these events in the newspapers. Phyllis Griffiths began a column, “Girls and the Game,” in the Toronto Telegram in 1929. “The Canadian sport media were far kinder and more supportive of women athletes in this era than was true of the male-dominated media in the United States.”[8] The Edmonton Grads, a group of high school girls, were acknowledged as world champions of women’s basketball in 1924, 1928, 1932, and 1936, with a reputed record of 502-22 in a “Golden Age” of women’s athletics in the 1920s.

Yet university women encountered resistance to their athletic endeavours from outsiders. When university women ventured into traditional “manly sports of track and field and team games such as ice hockey and baseball, they faced condemnation and ridicule,”[9] but venture they did. The McMaster [Women’s] University Monthly protested condescending male vocabulary in 1913. The University of Toronto denied the Varsity Letter to female athletes in 1924 because they “could not display the same prowess as men.”[10] In the 1930s, women asked to elect representatives to the University of Western Ontario’s Athletic Association but this was refused by the Board as not being “a forward step in the administration of athletic affairs at Western.” Women’s intercollegiate basketball and tennis there supposedly “lacked the competitive atmosphere that typified the men’s intercollegiate program.”[11] The Toronto swimming team was blasted in newspapers for proposing skirtless swimsuits. By today’s standards, uniforms of the 1920s and 1930s were dowdy, but it was the demands of women themselves that led to more functional athletic wear.[12] Canadian athletes at the Olympics in Amsterdam trimmed their running tops, a risqué move at the time, but the new tops became the norm in the 1932 Olympics.[13] Women’s basketball in Ontario universities followed Spalding (Girls’) rules until 1966 (six on a team and movement over two-thirds of the court) because of the perceived physical limitations of women, but it was the women’s athletic committee that ultimately changed those rules and trained women coaches for the revised game.[14] In the West, Spalding rules were never adopted because of the preponderance of male coaches and the success of the Edmonton Grads. Pat Davis, a basketball player in the 1950s and a founding member of the Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OWIAA), acknowledges that the leaders of the WIAU were “first of all, ladies,” but also emphasizes how they developed women’s intercollegiate athletics in Ontario despite cultural constraints.[15] These women were a small minority of university students and faculty. Facing institutional obstacles, fighting general social bias, and trying to preserve autonomy, they were pioneers in a harsh environment.

The literature has examined in detail the reasons for opposition to women’s athletics. They can only be summarized here. Medical opinion from the nineteenth century warned of the harm that strenuous physical activity could do to a woman’s reproductive system and general health. Dr. A. H. Lamb, head of the Amateur Athletic Association during much of the interwar period, believed some of those myths. A reaction to the women’s suffragist movement, a general crisis of masculinity precipitated by requirements for brain rather than brawn in work, and a feminization of culture left sport as one of the few remaining macho arenas in the early twentieth century. The male media spoofed “Amazons.” The Depression brought a general conservatism, with womanhood linked to a social role within the family, an attitude that persisted until the 1960s. Equality for women’s sport threatened the gender order of society. Susan Cahn put it well: “The image of the female athlete signaled an inversion of established gender relations, an indication that female domination might eventually replace men’s traditional authority.”[16]

By the late 1920s Canadian physical educators themselves had become cautious about women’s athletics. Trained in the United States because there were no Canadian graduate programs in physical education, they were influenced by developments there. In 1923 the Women’s Division of the National Amateur Athletic Federation, organized by Mrs. Herbert Hoover, advocated “play for play’s sake” – a philosophy that guided women’s amateur athletics in the United States until Title IX, forty-nine years later. Athletics would play a social role. A “conscious decision to curtail intercollegiate competition for women [was made]; new modes were designed to minimize competition and the development of high levels of skill.”[17] Moreover, the Carnegie Commission had criticized excess competition in all intercollegiate athletics of the 1920s while praising Canada’s universities for preserving the ideal of the scholar-amateur-athlete.[18] Canadian women’s physical educators of the period concluded that “they must not allow the tainted world of professionalism and commercialism to corrupt women’s sport as was increasingly the case, they believed, with men’s sport.”[19] The result was that competition was de-emphasized for three decades after the Golden Age of the 1920s, although Canadian universities “did not, as had happened in many American states, curtail intercollegiate sports.”[20] Archery, badminton, basketball, ice hockey, swimming, skiing, tennis, and volleyball had intercollegiate championships in Ontario during the interwar period.

In community sport, women continued competition and did not play by “girls’ rules.” Local and county secondary schools’ associations, which had separate women’s divisions, conducted tournaments and declared champions. One hundred and seventy-five high schools of 200 in Ontario had basketball programs. Softball attracted crowds in small towns from the foundation of the London Softball Association in 1925. Thousands of working-class girls in Quebec played ice hockey on community teams.[21] Restrictions applied mainly to the “middle-class ladies” in universities. A generation later, mothers who had played community sport supported their daughters (including some interviewed for this article) who challenged restrictive rules at universities. A base for independent women’s athletics was strongest in Ontario on the eve of World War II.

In both western and eastern Canada, aforementioned American influences had filtered north.[22] In the west, male coaches ruled. The western organization banned all co-educational activities in 1959. Women students at McMaster University, in contrast, competed on men’s teams into the 1960s, even though “some coaches did not make women feel welcome.”[23] In 1962 Maury Van Vliet, Dean of Physical Education at Alberta, introduced a motion that would have excluded women from the western association:

  • whereas the complications of organization and administration of the men’s athletic program has greatly increased and whereas the men’s and women’s programs have little in common and
  • whereas the WCIAA [Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Association] is a member of the CIAU [Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union], an all male organization
  • therefore be it resolved that the WCIAA become a separate men’s organization, and that the women’s group form another association.[24]

The motion was defeated, but women delegates had little influence in the WCIAA despite a guarantee of equal representation in the 1962 constitution. Women’s sports declined further in the west between 1969 and 1974 when all “minor sports” suffered cutbacks, primarily because of travel costs. Saskatchewan, for example, reduced women’s sports from thirteen to five, although Patricia Jackson became the first Canadian female athletic director there in 1973.[25] In Atlantic Canada, a separate women’s organization conducted intercollegiate and intramural competition during the 1960s, but university presidents pressured it to amalgamate with the men’s organization in 1973-74 so as to set common eligibility rules and simplify administrative structures. Thereafter, all athletic directors were male. Representation by women was to be guaranteed but the guarantee proved to be empty, with as few as two women at some meetings. Female delegates were regarded as a “bad joke” by some men.[26] Pat Lawson, women’s athletic director at the University of Saskatchewan, was “very much aware that my male counterpart did not think our programs were of equal significance.”[27] The women’s groups in both western and eastern Canada were subordinated within men’s organizations. Some Quebec universities belonged to the Ontario-Quebec association, which consisted mainly of Ontario universities, until 1971, when an independent Quebec organization was established

Expansion of Intercollegiate Athletics

A new era for Canadian sport began in1961. In that year, Ottawa established the National Fitness and Amateur Sport Advisory Council to give federal direction to sport in accord with An Act of Fitness and Amateur Sport (September 29, 1961). The first truly national intercollegiate athletic association [for men], the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU) was also formed in 1961. The Sport Bill derived, in part, from Prince Philip’s criticism of Canadian physical fitness on his visit to Canada in 1959. Soviet victories in hockey at the international levels and a desire to use federal institutions to promote Canadian unity played a greater role. While encouraging fitness and amateur sport generally, the legislation set as a secondary purpose “to provide assistance for the promotion and development of Canadian participation in national and international amateur sport.”[28] That secondary purpose quickly became the primary one and started Canada on the path to elitism in athletics (male athletics, at first). From its establishment, Sport Canada gave priority to funding national and international events, and, then, in the 1980s, to training “elite” athletes for those events. To obtain federal funds, the CIAU and its female counterpart, the Canadian Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CWIAU), established in 1969, had to direct their energies to such competitions. The CIAU itself set as a primary purpose of the organization, “the promotion of intercollegiate competition.”[29]

During the 1960s university enrolment in Canada more than tripled. Women’s enrolment in post-secondary institutions quadrupled from 27,615 to 108,750.[30] Expansion brought additional universities. When some of the newer Ontario universities began to organize a joint men’s-women’s athletic association in 1963, WIAU members (Western Ontario and McMaster plus charter members Toronto, Queen’s, and McGill) pleaded with women representatives to maintain an autonomous women’s organization to preserve women’s control over women’s athletics. Negotiations to form an all-Ontario women’s organization broke down for a variety of reasons, including travel costs, long-established rivalries of the old league, and an institutional snobbishness towards the new kids on the block.[31] Twelve institutions created the “East-West Conference of Intercollegiate Athletics” in 1964, which changed its name to the Ontario-Quebec Women’s Conference of Intercollegiate Athletics (OQWCIA) the following year. It maintained separate women’s and men’s divisions. Article 2 of the women’s division set out the same purpose as the WIAU had set in 1951:

The object of this Conference shall be to provide for such intercollegiate athletic competition for women as may be agreed upon from time to time, to set up rules and regulations governing such competition, to supervise the carrying out of such competition in a spirit of good sportsmanship and to make decisions on all matters arising from or affecting such competition.

The emphasis on competition marked a significant change from the goals set in the 1921 Constitution of the “Student” Women’s Athletic Association at the University of Toronto: “the encouragement of athletic sport and the promotion of physical education among women.”[32]

Women physical educators of the 1960s had to reconcile traditional emphasis on the social and health goals of sport with desire for competition. The Women’s Athletic Committee of the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (CAHPER), an organization of physical education instructors, set standards for all women’s amateur athletics, including the universities, until the national women’s university organization was established. In 1968 it expressed ambivalence about goals: “Although the purpose of intercollegiate athletics is to provide high level competition for interested and skilled women students…it is important that the social aspect of intercollegiate competition be maintained and fostered.”[33] Pat Davis recalls that WIAU basketball tournaments were “tooth and nails competition”[34] in the 1950s when she played, but women’s sports had little visibility or university support then. Pat Davis, Joy Taylor, and Susan Swain, all of whom were active in the organization and later wrote about it, agree that the WIAU suffered from inertia, was falling behind contemporary thought, and needed revitalization. As a symbolic indication of differences, the new organization wanted to give awards for competition, which the WIAU opposed because Anne Turnbull, women’s athletic director at Queen’s, argued “awards would violate the principle of sports for sports’ sake.” The WIAU did give out charm bracelets.[35] Cultural changes, newer schools, younger directors, and reorganization brought about evolutionary change by the mid-1960s. Many coaches and directors at the new universities, like Pat Davis, had begun their careers as high school coaches and brought that competitive experience to post-secondary institutions. Moreover, dramatically increasing numbers of women on campuses were unwilling to continue as second-class citizens.

The late 1960s and early 1970s was a period of social and cultural change, but conservatism reigned during the first two decades of the post-war period in Canadian society. There was an overt return to traditional gender roles, as women were expected to leave the workforce and return to the home to raise a family. In 1944 Dorise Nielsen, CCF member from Saskatchewan, gave Parliament a sardonic summary of men’s attitudes towards women’s appropriate role: “Well, girls, you have done a nice job; you looked very cute in your overalls and we appreciate what you have done for us: go home; we can get along without you.”[36] Although increasing numbers of mothers were working outside the home by the late 1950s, their presence in the workforce was a “source of much controversy.”[37] The message from all corners told women to embrace femininity. Hollywood encouraged the glamorous woman. Fashion glorified the sweater girl. Advertisers appealed to women as homemakers. Television and the commercialization of sport highlighted high-profile men’s sports. Masculinity and femininity were seen as two poles, with stigmatized stereotypes of women athletes as unfeminine. The 1960s saw the implementation of sex tests in international competition and snide speculation about the sexual orientation of female athletes. Idealized women’s sports were individual rather than team – those that required less exertion, sweat (boys sweat, girls perspire), and physical contact. Ruth Pierson has described well the atmosphere following World War II. “The immediate legacy of the Second World War was an indisputable reaction against war’s upheaval, including the unsettling extent to which women had crossed former sex/gender boundaries…For more than a decade, feminism was once again sacrificed to femininity.”[38]

Women in the immediate post-war period participated in sport on a male-dominated playing field and within a set of inhibiting cultural values. By 1960 the women’s press (e.g. Chatelaine) was challenging these values. The feminist movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, the civil rights movement’s language of equality, the sexual revolution’s stress on physical freedom, and the fitness boom of the 1970s and 1980s were peripheral to sport but combined to moderate the social stigma attached to women’s athletics.[39] The increase of female enrolment in universities, reaching parity with male undergraduates by 1980, provided a cohort for activism. The Charter of Rights in 1985 gave a legal basis for demands for gender equity. Before all these social-cultural forces had an impact, however, there were significant numbers of women and some men who rejected attempts to impose stereotypical limits on female athletic pursuits. It is to the agency of these individuals, who regenerated women’s athletic programs after a hiatus during the Depression and World War, that we now turn. For a case study, let us look at developments at the border university of Windsor (originally all-male Assumption College, then Assumption University until 1963).

In the 1950s, when men’s basketball teams at Assumption College were losing exhibition games to Michigan universities by 40 to 50 points, women’s volleyball teams from Assumption were easily defeating their Michigan counterparts.[40] They achieved this success despite the fact that Father Hussey, athletic director at the time, discouraged women “from even using the University athletic facilities.” McMaster students also fought with male athletic directors for “equitable inclusion.”[41] An appraisal of Windsor’s women’s athletics program concluded: “The enthusiasm of the women for athletics was mainly responsible for the growth of the women’s athletic program”[42] after Assumption became co-educational. A woman served on the Athletic Council from 1950-51, when women first attended Assumption College; a separate Women’s Athletic Council was established in 1959. Basketball and cheerleading were the only (intramural) sports in 1950; in 1957 there were seven. At the peak in 1966 students had organized and were conducting sixteen women’s intramural sports including judo and archery. About five in every six of the 300 women students participated. In her campaign speech for election of president of the Women’s Athletic Council in 1966, Linda Menard admonished her constituency that the success of women’s athletics depended on “university women alone.”

In 1959 a remarkable woman, one Betty Colborne (known as Mrs. Wm. Colborne in the documents), who had been on the physical education staff at Dalhousie and Queen’s universities as both coach and instructor, became women’s athletic co-ordinator at Assumption. With her experiences gained in established women’s athletic programs, she believed that a strong intramural program was an essential part of education and a necessary base for the development of women’s intercollegiate sports. Courageously, she wrote a report calling for support for the women’s program. She charged that the Athletic Board cared only about men’s intercollegiate sports and that the men’s board dictated decisions to the women. Since female and male students paid identical athletic fees, she asked for “a greater proportion of the funds” to be directed to women’s athletics. Her reward was dismissal by the Board of Governors at a meeting on April 17, 1961 upon the recommendation of the aforementioned athletic director. Elizabeth Chard recalls similar problems with a male athletic director, who later would be supportive, at St. Mary’s in Halifax – another university that attracted male students from the United States and became co-educational after decades of an all-male environment.[43]

Institutional opposition could delay or inhibit the growth of women’s athletics, but it could not prevent it. Colborne established women’s intercollegiate basketball and volleyball teams at Windsor in 1960. They continue today. Badminton and swimming were added in the 1960s. In 1977-78 there were seven women’s sports – basketball, curling, fencing, swimming, synchronized swimming, track, and volleyball – when there were ten men’s. Women and men by then had achieved equal times for practice. At the University of Waterloo the women’s volleyball team was featured on the cover of the school’s Athletic Brochure in 1977.

The experiences of three female athletes[44] represent women athletes’ agency and changes in women’s sports. Linda Menard (Watt) (1963-67) was President of the Student Athletic Council at Windsor and winner of the DeMarco award for outstanding scholar-athlete. She introduced co-educational intramural sports during her term – an initiative that had the unintended consequence of eventually weakening independent women’s sports. From an athletic family, she was raised to believe “I can do anything I want.” She was the only woman in the honours math and science program at Windsor then. When some friends organizing a women’s swimming team said “come on out, you know how to swim,” she did. None of the women on the team had ever swum competitively before. They practiced in a pool “like a Roman bath” in the basement of old St. Denis Hall. The male coach regarded them as a nuisance taking practice time from his boys, would not attend their meets, and did not expect women to pursue weight training that he inaugurated for men. Agency had its limits as obstacles remained. Linda participated in track and field as well. Her team had no uniforms so participants wore everyday clothes. For Linda, the social element, exercise, and being an all-around person were more important than competition. Bus trips on sports-day weekends were “great fun” with singing on buses, camaraderie, and meeting women from other universities. She cannot remember now whether her teams won or lost. But she was present at the start of a track and field program that would become the best in Canada in the 1990s.

Barb Carnochan (Owen) matriculated at Windsor when Linda was in third year. She was a more competitive athlete, coached part-time at Windsor for a year after graduation, and has coached high school athletics since. Brought up in a rural area where there were not enough boys to make up teams, she was a “tomboy” who played regularly with boys. A basketball player, she recalls how excited the team was when girls’ rules were abandoned and the OQWIAA intercollegiate championships began. Women ran like men and Joanne Lazarus taught others the jump shot that had recently replaced the set shot in men’s basketball. In 1969 the women’s intercollegiate basketball team travelled not with other women’s teams, but with the men’s basketball team, staying at the best hotels and receiving equal expense money. “It was just a great experience.” She never thought there was anything unusual about being competitive or playing “men’s” games. She was a student in the newly established Human Kinetics program at Windsor. All the women in that program played sports, but few women from other programs competed in major intercollegiate sports. The men’s teams recruited from the student body as a whole. Women intercollegiate athletes were still exceptional.

Barb Everingham (1973-78) was also a student in Human Kinetics. After she did well in physical education courses, coaches convinced her to play intercollegiate basketball and volleyball. Her parents thought her participation peculiar, but other students regarded women in sport as normal. Winning was important – “I’m a very competitive person” – but sport was equally important for raising personal confidence and for team bonding among women. “There was a jock culture among us.” The different attitudes of these athletes illustrate an evolution. By the 1970s, competitive motivations were beginning to outweigh older educational/recreational goals. As women athletes were becoming more competitive, intercollegiate was superseding intramural athletics. Quebec, uniquely in the 1970s, de-emphasized intercollegiate athletics, partly for financial reasons, in favour of mass participation, after its emphasis in the 1960s on intercollegiate teams. McGill suffered a “major financial crisis” in 1970.[45]

In its first year the enlarged Ontario women’s organization (OQWCIA) inaugurated intercollegiate women’s contests called “Sports Days” – invitational, exhibition, semi-annual events held over a weekend, usually with four or five teams gathered. On November 27-28, 1964, Windsor, Guelph, McMaster, Wilfrid Laurier, and Waterloo met at Guelph University for competition in basketball, volleyball, badminton, and swimming. About 150 women participated. “The social element was as important as the competitive” – with coffee parties and a banquet so women could meet their counterparts at other universities. Another reason for grouping these events on weekends was cost and convenience.[46] Given limited funding, women had to be practical. They were lucky if twenty people turned out to watch a women’s event. At the University of Waterloo, men’s sports received $65,400 support in 1967, women’s $10,000. Travel allocation was $30,000 for men, $4,000 for women. Mary Keyes reported that $120,000 was spent for men’s sport and $25,000 for women’s sport at McMaster.[47]

Institutionally sanctioned Sports Days were built on informal “Play Days” established by students. The term “play days” has offended feminist critics because, in the 1920s, the former were introduced to restrict competition and activity. But a comparison of brochures from the 1960s indicates no difference between the activities of play and sport days.[48] Play days described informal student-organized events at an intramural level of competition, as distinct from those having institutional support. They remained as supplementary events only for a few years.

“A small group of students” at Queen’s University revived women’s ice hockey in 1961 and eventually won approval for a varsity league for a two-year trial period, although they received “indifferent support from athletic departments.”[49] After girls’ rules no longer applied to basketball (1966), the women’s teams at Windsor played the same running, pressing “blitz” basketball as did the men’s team.[50] That same year OQWCIA conducted basketball tournaments modeled on men’s, at York University and Ryerson College in Toronto. These replaced sports and play days. A year later Calgary and Alberta universities hosted national intercollegiate invitational competitions for women in badminton, curling, swimming, and volleyball.

Women were seeking a forum for achievement and recognition in a sexist atmosphere. A few examples suffice. A 1971 column by Dick Beddoes, perhaps Canada’s most-read sports writer of that era, is indicative; in it, he complained:

  • [about] covering “esoteric nonsense” called women’s pentathlon
  • Statistics reveal that Russian wenches put the shot and hurl the javelin as easily as falling down the steppes. But they are a different kind of woman.
  • Do Canadian males want that for Debbie Van Kiekebelt and her comely compatriots? It is true, isn’t it, that competitive sports do not allow a lass to retain her softness?

Jan Stoopy (Chevron staff at the University of Waterloo) responded:

What is being discussed is not sports, but that age old wearying but obviously unconcluded problem of man and woman, woman and man. That the potential for bodily feats, let alone intelligence or stability or anything else be determined on the grounds of genitals exemplifies a peculiar forum of logic which leaves us mystified.[51]

When Ann Hewett, women’s athletic co-ordinator of the University of Toronto, noted that the Benson (Women’s) Building was filled to capacity, Bob Gauthier, Sports Editor of the University of Toronto Varsity, countered that it was under-used and “compared to the men, the women have money to burn.”[52] Yet, women’s athletics received less than did men’s in every university.[53] At Windsor, women athletes often had to travel off campus to practice. Later Olympian Abby Hoffman was thrice refused in 1966 the use of the large indoor track in the male-only Hart House at the University of Toronto.[54] Women tried to join men’s teams, but they were banned from all contact sports at Toronto in 1975-76 because of the risk of injuries and lawsuits “based on physiological differences between the sexes and possible injuries.”[55] In 1975 David Copp, director of the men’s intramural program at Toronto, told The Globe and Mail that “women are physically weaker than men and subject to greater injury.”[56] Popular attitudes were repressive.

National Organization and Competition

To counter these biases, women physical educators were organizing and attempting to raise consciousness. Forces outside sport were giving encouragement. The 1970 Report of the Royal Commission on Women (established in Canada’s Centennial year) was a galvanizing event and provided a platform for change. It recommended that “school programmes provide girls with equal opportunities with boys to participate in athletic and school activities and establish policies and practices that will motivate and encourage girls to engage in athletics and sports activities.”[57] The passage of Title IX in 1972 in the United States also raised consciousness of the possibility of principles of gender equality being applied to sport.

Both the formation of CWIAU (1969) and the inauguration of formal national intercollegiate women’s championships (1971) were attempts to put women’s sport front and centre. The West, supported by the Maritimes, neither of which had independent women’s organizations, wanted a national organization. Ontario women were less enthusiastic. They uniquely had a strong organization of their own and felt less need for a national body. They also were suspicious of the linkage between organization and national championships. The WIAU, during its preliminary discussion about creating a national association, expressed this concern: “facilities, time, staff, and budget limitations do not make national competition feasible and national intercollegiate competition is not part of our program.”[58]

The WCIAA meeting at Alberta, May 13-15, 1965, had called for an approach to the WIAU to hold women’s national intercollegiate championships. Westerners had also been the first to promote national championships in men’s sport. Distance between schools made conference competition difficult in the West, but competitive ideals were stronger there.[59] In 1968, the WCIAA again called for national championships with “high level competitions.” The westerners (specifically Ann Hall and Andrea Borys) sent “shock waves” eastward with very specific proposals for national championships at the 1969 CAHPER meetings. The women’s committee of CAHPER became the de facto organizing committee for the formation of the CIAU. The WIAU was originally reluctant because it had its own championships and because it worried that “high level competitions” meant imitating male goals, but the WCIAA threatened to proceed with unsanctioned invitational tournaments as it had in 1967 if the WIAU did not agree.[60] Ontario male athletic directors had also been reluctant to inaugurate men’s national championships because they feared that such competition would encroach on the amateur ideal in Canadian athletics.[61] The Ministry of Fitness and Amateur Sport had not funded women’s tournaments in 1967 as they did men’s competitions because the women’s athletic groups had no official standing as a “Sports Governing Body.” Correspondence from the late 1960s indicates that funding for national events was an important consideration in establishing a national body.[62]

Despite “much indecision and hesitation” the CWIAU brought together the provincial associations in an umbrella organization in 1969. It was formed “in response to a growing awareness on behalf of university women physical educators that women’s sport in Canadian universities was neither being encouraged, developed nor supported.”[63] Despite these larger goals, the first purpose of the Union listed in the 1970 Constitution was “to provide a structure through which Canadian National Intercollegiate Championships for women may be encouraged and conducted.”[64] Thus the women’s organization from the beginning, like the men’s organization, focused on conducting national championships. They were intended, in part, as a means to gain attention for women’s sport generally, but they became an end unto themselves.

On the weekend of March 5-6, 1971, the first official women’s national championships were held in swimming and diving at Waterloo, gymnastics at York, and volleyball at Calgary. Basketball was soon added. There were eight at the end of the decade. Sport Canada provided meagre but necessary funding. About 200 women attended the first three championship tournaments at a total cost of about $30,000, mainly for travel. Waterloo women each paid $55 out of pocket for meals, raised $100 in a tote sale, and some were billeted in private homes in Calgary.[65] The 1975 Championships were conducted for $38,000. In 1974 women began looking for corporate sponsors and television coverage.

National championships for both men and women were the main means of increasing visibility for university sport, which had suffered since the 1950s when television had brought international and American sports into Canadian homes. Championships could showcase women athletes and counter prejudice against them. Some athletic directors hoped for a “spin off” for mass participation on campuses.[66] Intercollegiate associations were also vying with other amateur bodies for control of sport for university students. The amateur Canadian Gymnastics Association, for example, received federal funds to conduct national competitions. The CWIAU’s submission to the Fitness and Amateur Sports Directorate for funding of women’s national championships put them in the larger perspective of women’s sport:

Sport for women in Canadian Universities have [sic] not been encouraged, well developed or even supported. That intention is to improve the competitive opportunity and level of achievement of women university students. Recognition and acceptance of high caliber achievement should show effect in ease of programming and in improved participation level in recreational and intramural sports. The observer will cease to be surprised at the participants’ pleasure or disdain for their skill.

…Reasons for the lack of prominence of women’s sports on Canadian campuses are not difficult to pinpoint…Concepts of femininity and the requirements of sport have been in severe contrast…It is not necessary to make a choice between being “feminine” or being an “athlete.” The two are compatible.[67]

Women physical educators also met at two important conferences in 1974 and 1975 to advance women’s athletic programs. On May 24-26, 1974, the year that the United Nations proclaimed 1975 as International Women’s Year, a National Conference on Women and Sport met in Toronto. The bringing together of women in 1974 gave a sense of empowerment and the debate about the purpose, place, autonomy, and direction of women’s sport intensified.

The conference, which dealt with sport at all levels, put women’s sport squarely in the context of women’s role in Canadian society:

…an understanding of female sport involvement cannot be isolated from an understanding of both the role of sport and the role of women in society.

Women’s sport is unique, and women deserve equal access, opportunities and respect for their accomplishments. Women do not wish to emulate male performances and programs, but they are interested in developing viable sporting environments in which they can exist first as women and second as athletes.

It is recommended further that qualified women be hired to direct intercollegiate athletic programs for women.[68]

A conference at the University of Saskatchewan the following year reiterated the “necessity for sufficient role models.”[69] These two conferences built on goals that the women’s athletic committee of CAHPER had promoted for years: inclusivity for all; promoting high levels of “competition for girls and women as suited to and desirous of such competition”; allowing women’s sport to be controlled by qualified women; provision of better facilities; “treating women’s sport as something worthwhile in its own right, and avoiding irrelevant comparisons with male performance.” But these conferences “accomplished within three years what the WAC had not been able to achieve in thirty years.”[70] They had a public forum by the mid-1970s, which earlier meetings had not.

Although there was a unanimous commitment to promoting women’s athletics, there were disagreements about the best path to follow. These differences came to the fore in the debate about integration of the national men’s and women’s organizations. The debate within the CWIAU concerning affiliation, integration, and finally amalgamation of the CWIAU with the CIAU went on from its inception in 1969 until amalgamation in 1978.

A small committee of “ladies” met with a committee of the CIAU in 1966 to discuss “affiliation” with the CIAU while maintaining their autonomy for their women’s regional bodies. Therein lay the rub. How was autonomy to be retained if the smaller women’s group associated with the men’s organization? Concern about autonomy and direction of women’s sport resurrected issues debated in the 1920s, discussed earlier, and raised new ones. Feminist scholars have posed the paradox. Feminists had criticized early physical educators’ de-emphasis on elite competition for preventing women from developing their full athletic potential, but many of them believed that women’s potential was best satisfied in gynocentric, female-only spaces.[71] Although the question potentially involved deep philosophical issues, most of the women were pragmatists. Their common end was empowerment, “to improve the representation and status of women in university sport.”[72] They disagreed about the best means to that end.

The principal arguments for integration were to provide a unified voice for university athletics, to promote championships, and to obtain money from sponsors and the federal government. The federal government had indicated that it would not fund two separate organizations much longer.[73] The opposition warned about “being swallowed up and losing autonomy.” Liz Hoffman and Pat Davis submitted to OWIAA a proposal to insist on equal or at least forty per cent representation for women in the new CIAU, but it went nowhere.[74] Many women also feared that raising the competitive level of women’s sport implied following the direction of men’s athletics and would lead to an increase in the elitism and the culture of “winning” that affected male athletics. The CIAU was increasingly preoccupied with the high-profile sports of basketball, football, and ice hockey.

Although women voted according to personal beliefs (for example, two representatives from British Columbia opposed amalgamation), Ontario representatives were the ones most inclined to oppose both amalgamation and increased competition. Their own independent body had become stronger since the establishment of the OWIAA in 1971-72, which brought together for the first time all the Ontario universities. It proudly asserted that its purpose in 1984 was “essentially the same purpose that spawned the CIWBL [Canadian Intercollegiate Women’s Basketball League of the WIAU] in 1921, grew through the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, and saw completeness in 1971.”[75] Ontario had a vital women’s program with 23 championship women’s sports and 184 women’s teams at sixteen institutions in 1984-85.[76]

After a decade of discussion and some recrimination, the CWIAU merged with the CIAU in 1978. Women achieved a stronger national organization, more political clout, and support for national championships. They suffered the loss of an independent forum for women’s voices. The immediate result was a decline in female institutional representatives to the CIAU and in program administration. Only Ontario women had significant representation (Table 1). Rather than continuing the practice of separate directors of men’s and women’s athletics in the larger schools, former women directors usually became assistants to male directors. In the Maritime schools, a man was in charge of both programs at every university.[77] Helen Lenskyj wrote that “clearly an unintended outcome of amalgamation has been the erosion of women’s control over women’s athletics.”[78] Opponents of amalgamation had warned of precisely that outcome, however. Nevertheless, Elizabeth Chard, a historian from St. Mary’s and faculty representative to the CIAU,[79] became the first non-Athletic Director and first woman to be president of the CIAU in the second election after amalgamation. Unusually, she served two terms – four years. Her election marked a transition from an old boys’ network of athletic directors to a younger group, more open to women, as we shall see in committee representation (Table 1). The informal network and stereotypical notions about competence and motivation had put up barriers against women members.

Concern about women’s decreasing governing role led to action. Women representatives at the CIAU made a successful motion in 1979 to conduct an inquiry into “relative opportunities for women athletes, coaches, and administrators in the CIAU.” Conferences at Simon Fraser, Alberta, and Concordia, in 1980, 1981, and 1987 respectively, established not just principles but a “call to action.” An independent women’s national sport organization with a clear advocacy mandate, the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport (CAAW&S), was founded in 1981. Funded in part by Secretary of State, it set as its objective to “promote, develop and advocate a feminist perspective on women and sport.”[80] Internal squabbling and polemical statements limited its initial effectiveness, but it has been a forum for twenty years.[81] A letter by Joan Inglis to Bob Pugh, Executive Director of the CIAU, of March 17, 1983, that complained that “we have been so submerged and fragmented by the CIAU” prompted a successful 1983 motion to have at least one woman representative from all institutions. The WCIAA passed a similar resolution at its annual general meeting of 1988.[82] Individual universities were free to disregard the resolution, however, and some did. A report reviewing “the changing participation of women” recommended in 1984 “equal opportunities,” “a hire a woman policy for women’s sport,” and a woman representative from all institutions to be present at CIAU meetings; it recommended also that intercollegiate championships be increased to raise the profile of women’s sports.[83]

A series of government reports from Fair Ball: Toward Sex Equality in Canadian Sport (1982) through the Sport Canada Policy on Women in Sport (1986) to the Sport in Canada: Leadership, Partnership, and Accountability (1998) called for “equality for girls and women in sport,” “equal opportunity,” and “employment equity.” In 1992 Ottawa’s Sport: The Way Ahead recognized that “women are not represented equally in school sports, organized sports, coaching, officiating, or sport organizations. While progress has been made, the pace is unacceptably slow.”[84] The problem was not confined to universities. Women accounted for less than 20 per cent of coaching and 30 per cent of leadership positions in the national sporting organizations in the 1980s.[85]

These initiatives led to a gradual but steady increase in female representation within the CIAU by the mid-1980s and especially during the 1990s (Table 1).[86] Women achieved equality with men on CIAU committees in 1986-87 (from one-third four years earlier). They constituted 43 per cent (50 per cent in Ontario) of athletic administrators in 1998-99 as compared to 26 per cent (and only 9 per cent outside Ontario) two decades earlier. In 1994, the CIAU established “a gender equity and equality committee” which was charged with establishing a network for female coaches and a balance on all CIAU committees and boards.

Women athletes steadily increased in numbers and percentages in each of the five-year periods. Women participants increased by 86 per cent, men by 35 per cent, 1978-1995 (Table 2). They constituted 35 per cent of athletes in 1995, but if athletes in men’s-only sports of football, ice hockey (at the time), and wrestling are excluded, there were eleven more female than male athletes; of course, women are now a majority of undergraduate students in Canada. The number of university sports teams remained constant for men (253 to 257) but jumped from 136 to 211 for women. The number of sanctioned women’s sports increased from three in 1971 to seven in 1978 to nine (equal to men) in 1996 to eleven (one more than men) in 2001 (Table 4). The CIAU did not collect gender statistics on athletes after 1995 because it concluded that participation equity had been achieved. Canadian women’s relative participation rates are higher than those of university women in the United States despite Title IX.[87] In both countries participation resulted from autonomous cultural changes beginning about 1970 before any legislation or administrative changes could have had impact.[88]

More students played intramural and club sports than participated in intercollegiate games. Although records about these informal competitions are sparse, they indicate that women’s agency eventually overcame institutional resistance in these as well. Don Morrow concluded that women’s programs at Western Ontario during the 1950s and 1960s were “slighted in favor of men’s intercollegiate and intramural,” particularly in terms of facilities. Nevertheless they grew.[89] Although Waterloo was heavily male because of its large engineering and science faculties and did not have a women’s program during its first five years (1959-1964), women’s intramural and recreational teams flourished in the decade after they were established (1964); Waterloo had 168 teams of all types in 1977 and was regarded as a model in Canada.[90]

The fullest inquiry into intramural activities was done for Ontario in 1983. While a slight majority of undergraduate students were female, 37,330 students participated on male teams, 14,365 on female teams, and another 24,753 on co-educational teams (most of those women). Women dominated “instructional/ recreational” activities at the two universities examined: 1582 to 291 at Carleton and 3002 to 929 at Queen’s. Queen’s reported “a tremendous demand by female students for aerobics and general fitness classes.”[91]

New Initiatives by Women Athletes

Larger cultural forces had come into play in the 1980s and 1990s with many young women, inheritors of the feminist movement, suddenly interested in playing sports like ice hockey, rugby, lacrosse, and soccer that their mothers had rarely played. Adventurous women at campuses across Canada were again taking things into their own hands. Some were playing on men’s teams: Monique Finnie in ice hockey at Saskatchewan, Tara Sharpe in squash at Trent, and Paige Blackman in water polo at Western Ontario excelled. “Women athletes [are] extremely competitive and want to play at the highest possible level.” Increasingly, they were playing rougher sports, such as rugby, wrestling, and women’s ice hockey. Kim St. Pierre from McGill University led the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team (Under 22s) – one of seven university students on the team. Christi Schuermer, a McMaster student, recognized the importance of initiatives by the few: “ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to do wrestling, but they never had it at my high school. I think the pioneers in sports are the ones who, when there were no women’s divisions had to wrestle against the guys. Now, it’s our turn to push the sport further.” Marlene Donaldson, a rugby player at Toronto, observed: “If you look at any girls on the field, they’re strong females. They work out, lift weights, they’re not weak. We’re as strong as the guys who play sports if not stronger than some. I think they’re just stupid myths based on ignorance.”[92] The newly sanctioned CIAU sports for women at the end of the millennium – ice hockey, rugby, and wrestling – began as intramural or club sports initiated by women students.

In more traditional sports, women were pushing the envelope further.[93] By 1980 Linda Staudt was competing in marathon running at Windsor. She was one of the first women long-distance runners there. She ran on highways, dodging cyclists and being blown off the road by wind, until the St. Denis indoor facility was completed in 1984 – the same year that the Olympics introduced a 26-kilometre women’s marathon. Since men and women practiced together, men’s performance and practice time probably increased because they did not want to be “shown up” by a woman, but competition was friendly. Linda saw sport as intensely competitive rather than social, but the competition was with one’s own goals. Denise Hébert was a thrower – javelin, discus, and shot. “There were two throwers before me. I began in grade 7 at the South Windsor Knights of Columbus Clubs (elementary through University).” She did discus, shot, and javelin at Assumption High School. A coach had asked her to try out because she was strong. She thought it “would be cool.” After receiving an athletic scholarship to the University of Oklahoma (1984), she discovered that Oklahoma offered great competition and great facilities but also exerted terrific pressure. Injured, she was pushed to compete in a March meet before she was fully recovered. A major in engineering, she had to rush a final examination in physics because the team bus was waiting. “Winning was all that counted. Because you were paid, it was a job.” Seeking a more favourable academic climate and one in which sport could be competitive but still enjoyable, she returned to Windsor after two years. She could set goals of excellence but they were her own goals, within her capacity. She also maintained an “A” average. Denise had entered a sport reserved for men, and balanced athletics and academics but found that “excellence and competition” had drawbacks.

Stephanie Wilson won an academic scholarship to St. Mary’s while her sister played hockey at Cornell University. Stephanie’s parents played sports and her mother wanted to play ice hockey, but opportunities were much more limited for girls when she was growing up. Stephanie played both soccer and hockey on local boys’ teams in Dartmouth, although she was not “good enough” (she is five feet tall) to make the (boy’s) high school team. She dressed with the guys and in her last year of boy’s hockey suffered sexual comments and intimidation – from parents in the stands and from her teenage teammates. Parents yelled, “hit that bitch” and “slut.” “If the coach didn’t know what was going on, he had his head in the sand.” She matriculated at St. Mary’s in 1996, and played on the woman’s club team in hockey. In 1997, the team received intercollegiate funding and varsity status. Both the president and athletic director supported them. The team got a dressing room in second year, an addition the following year. There will be gender-equal facilities in the new arena. While a graduate student at another university, Stephanie organized a club women’s ice hockey team. When they asked for dressing facilities, they were refused by a female athletic director because “if we provide you facilities they have to be equal to men’s and we can’t afford that.”

Kelly Dinsmore was a CIAU Track and Field champion, winning four gold medals in triple jump. She led the University of Windsor to its fifth straight OWIAA and fourth straight CIAU championships in 1995. Men and women competed separately but practiced and trained together. Men’s and women’s meets occurred simultaneously – a vast difference from the old “play days.” The desire to win was her main motivation to continue competing.

Emily Duncan as a fourth-year student was part of the “girls” team that won the national championship in 2000. She competed against herself – her own best time – rather than against others in meets. She has the highest praise for the male coach Dennis Fairrall, who has produced six Canadian championships. Three or four on the team, in different events, were among the top five in Canada. Windsor’s track and field program is one that has achieved excellence without sacrificing academic standards or exploiting athletes.

Symbolic changes were occurring as well. Universities abandoned feminized versions of men’s team’s names. Thus, the Windsor Lancerettes became the Lancers; the Carleton Robins became the Ravens. By 1990, thirty-one of the forty-six CIAU schools had identical names for women’s and men’s teams.[94] By the last decade of the millennium, women athletes had pushed the envelope to the point that individual participation was no longer the issue.

Problems remained, however, in two areas – coaching and funding. The percentage of male coaches for women’s teams increased during the last two decades of the century. Similar patterns occurred at both full-time and part-time levels. Women coached 75 per cent of women’s teams in 1978-79 but the proportion became fifty-fifty in 1985; now, males are a majority of full-time coaches. Male part-time coaches have increased by ninety-two, women by only twenty, in two decades (Table 3).

The increase in male coaches for women’s sports is a complex issue that has not been sufficiently studied for firm conclusions to be reached, although it has been and remains an area of concern. Reviewing literature regarding the United States, Lenskyj concluded that the problem resulted from “discriminatory hiring practices, based on male athletic administrators’ incorrect, sex-stereotypical assumptions that female coaches were less qualified, less willing to travel and more concerned with family responsibilities than males.”[95] Women physical educators, who were the coaches of women’s teams, were indeed fewer (only 22 per cent even in Ontario), younger, and dealing with entrenched males at senior levels.[96]

Coaching clinics and physical education programs were raising the calibre of leadership but also stressed “winning.” University sports traditionally had been one part of an educational experience. They were becoming separate endeavours at the university. Federal programs by the 1980s were funding only “those athletes who exhibited a national caliber of excellence.” Two coincidental forces changed university coaching from a part-time activity of faculty to a professional enterprise by ancillary staff – people hired for that specific task. The first was athletes’ desire for expert supervision. At the same time universities were insisting that faculty give full-time devotion to teaching and research. That trend occurred for both sexes. Gino Fracas, a star at both Western Ontario and for the Edmonton Oilers, coached, taught, and published as a full-time faculty member at Alberta, then at Windsor. He had to abandon coaching because the team and the student body were demanding full-time attention to the football team. Tom Dimitroff, a former Ottawa Roughrider, became the first full-time football coach in Ontario in 1979. Marge Holman, the volleyball coach and professor in Human Kinetics at Windsor, remembers returning from sabbatical in 1980 and deciding to abandon coaching because team members wanted to reach a level of excellence that she did not think she could provide.[97]

As women athletes stressed achievement, they became more open to whatever coach seemed to offer the best chance of success. A study of CIAU athletes in 1994 indicated that female athletes by a 4-1 margin of those making a gendered choice believed that males were the most successful coaches.[98] In 2001 a major controversy developed over the dismissal of Rob Anderson as Ottawa’s women’s basketball coach – whether he was dismissed because of the performance of his teams or because of his gender. Angela Orton, Guelph’s basketball coach, and Judy McCrae, Director of Athletics at Waterloo, insisted that the gender of a coach was less important than “ability to motivate student athletes.” McCrae also pointed out that, since women remain their family’s primary caregiver, many cannot take on coaching duties.[99] This may be a major inhibiting factor for attracting women coaches. According to a New York Times report only one-third of Division One women coaches in the United States were married and only one in six had children in 2000; the percentages for male coaches were 90 and 80 respectively. Presently there are twenty-six women and thirteen men coaching women’s university basketball teams full-time in Canada.

An even more dramatic trend toward male dominance occurred in the United States after Title IX (1972). In the year Title IX was passed, 80 per cent of women’s athletic programs had women directors. Seven years later half of women’s programs were under male jurisdiction; in 1997, 80 per cent were. In 1972 90 per cent of women’s teams were coached by women; in 1997 only 48 per cent were. “While opportunities and financial support for women student athletes have increased significantly, Title IX eventually led to the demise of the AIAW and women’s control over intercollegiate athletics…”[100] Thus, gender equality was a two-edged sword. It increased attention to and expanded intercollegiate women’s sports but reduced women’s control.

As we have seen, women’s sports historically occupied a secondary place and struggled to receive adequate funding. A major issue of the 1990s became “equity” and whether “equity” was synonymous with “equality” as applied to funding.[101] Funding in Ontario schools was divided by per capita participation in 1981 ($2.5 versus $1.5 million, reflecting 64 per cent men),[102] but many universities kept and still keep separate budgets for football and ice hockey. Men’s hockey often receives more money than does women’s hockey, justified by one female athletic director because “men sweat more and need new uniforms more often.”[103] Women hockey players at Toronto in 1995 had to buy their own sticks and the track team its own uniforms. Despite finishing fourth at the national finals in 2002, the women’s track team at the University of Waterloo had no track on which to practice.[104] David Neelands, Vice President for student affairs at Toronto, admitted that “on every level, men get more, from team costs to officials, to equipment, travel money, lodging, and per diems for food.” James Barton, squash coach at the University of British Columbia, put it succinctly: “Funding is historically lopsided in favour of men’s teams.” In the east, Dalhousie University adopted a policy of equal funding, but Acadia continued to spend three times as much on men’s programs as on women’s; $170,000 of St. Francis Xavier’s annual budget went to football in 1991. When Carleton dropped football and its $200,000 budget, women’s sports received more funding than men’s.[105] Western, Waterloo, and Windsor still fund intercollegiate football and/or men’s ice hockey separately, even though the latter two have women athletic directors. St. Mary’s is committed to equal funding but spends more money on travel for men’s ice hockey than on women’s because few Atlantic universities have a women’s ice hockey team.[106] There were at least 102 women’s club teams in Canada in 1994-95, but few received financial support or had access to university facilities. Expensive high-profile male sports got the bulk of funding.

The University of Toronto had become one of the federally funded centres for high-performance sport in the 1980s. The “Objectives of the Department of Athletics” of 1984 made no mention of gender. When federal funding diminished, and cutbacks were made to athletic programs, students from Toronto’s Graduate Student Union began to question how resources were being allocated. Although they lacked a specific plan, they wanted more money for women’s and club sports generally.[107]

On April 4, 1991, the Varsity began a series of articles questioning the direction of athletics at Toronto: “Some athletes are demanding to know how much money each Varsity Blues team gets.” Jolan Stroch, women’s volleyball coach, mused: “I’m concerned that the athletic fees are mostly going to the football team for a usage that some might wonder is necessary.” Director of Athletics Ian MacGregor responded: “We’ve always done things centrally and globally. There are no figures by sport.” The Varsity responded with an article on April 6 titled, “Cover-up at DAR.” Perhaps there was no cover-up, but MacGregor’s comments were terminologically inexact. A resulting committee found that high-performance sport received $1,333,092 and recovered $60,000 of it. Recreation spent $931,157 and recovered $412,178.[108] A task force, with students and a sympathetic faculty member – former Olympic athlete and later Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Health, Bruce Kidd – was struck to investigate. It worked to “return expectations from high performance, a culture of entitlement and pampered stars to athletics as a rich part of university life.”[109] The Dryden Report for Queen’s recommended a similar redirection of priorities to recreation and intramural programs.[110]

The University of Toronto’s Department of Athletics and Recreation task force in 1994 established the principle that “whereas EQUALITY means treating persons the same, EQUITY means treating persons in ways that are fair.” Its “Final Report of the Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics,” adopted on April 2, 1997, went further. It called for resource allocations to the men’s and women’s teams to be made on the basis of equal gender envelopes.[111] Intercollegiate teams now practice at off-hours. Coaches of intercollegiate sport must divide their time between coaching and the classroom. “Most bitterly resented it [the change].”[112] Toronto has returned to the practice of coaching being part of a general institutional program, as it had been two decades ago.

Others too have adopted principles of “equity” rather than “equality.” CAAWS in its Toward Gender Equity for Women in Sport: A Handbook for Sport Organizations (1995) opted for equity because discrimination “meant that equal access may require different treatment…making provisions for affirmative action programs to eliminate disadvantages.” After calls for “equity” for a decade, the OWIAA amalgamated with the OUAA [Ontario University Athletic Association] in 1997 (afterward OUA [Ontario University Athletics]) primarily to get television exposure for women’s sports and also to promote general efficiency. With several females as athletic directors (e.g. Guelph, McMaster, Queen’s, Toronto, Waterloo, and York), there was no longer a fear of inferior status.[113] Universities in other regions have a propensity for male directors. The OUA defeated (3-14) a proposal to require “the total dollar amounts of athletic financial awards to female athletics [to be] at least equal to what is offered to male athletes,” which would have permitted affirmative funding to female athletes, passing instead (14-3) one that specified equal amounts for both sexes.[114] Equity rather than strict equality is the present goal.

Between 1993 and 1997 the CIAU developed a gender-integrated sponsorship and television package to assure greater exposure for women’s sport. In the summer of 1997, it introduced an anti-discrimination and harassment policy covering athletes, coaches, and officials in response to Sport Canada’s April order to all national sports organizations to meet specific requirements in order to remain eligible for federal funding, which had put $775,000 in CIAU coffers the previous year. At the June, 2000 meeting in Newfoundland, the CIAU adopted a policy that Athletic (financial) Awards “must be divided between male and female athletes in proportion to the number of male and female athletes listed on CIAU standardized team rosters.” “Progress” to that goal was to be made beginning in 2000/2001 with full compliance by 2005/2006. Such policies are rooted in the initiatives of hosts of individual women students and administrators over the last four decades

Conclusion

Historically, women athletes had to battle exclusionary practices and two cultural ideals: that their bodies were unsuited to strenuous physical activity and that sports masculinized women, raising the lesbian spectre. Although such stereotypes have not entirely disappeared, they are less inhibiting to women athletes of the twenty-first century than they were in mid-twentieth century. Fitness and femininity are now compatible. In a book that is critical of a historic “homophobia” in athletics, journalist and former elite athlete Laura Robinson is cautiously optimistic about present trends: “Women attain a certain ownership [of their body] when they combine the sexual and the physical.” Ann Hall concludes that “women can be both athletic and feminine.”[115] Sport has helped women liberate their bodies, although tension remains between freedom, sexuality, and sexualization. At all levels women are engaging in sports once restricted to men’s domain, becoming faster and stronger and matching men’s performance in long-distance events. Athletes have revolutionized the playing field. More than a decade ago, Mary Keyes, one of the leaders of women’s athletic organizations over three decades, wrote:

Individual women athletes through the years have demonstrated that personal commitment and acceptance of sporting opportunities and challenges have changed the very nature of sport for girls and women.[116]

I concur with Ann Hall that “play, games, and sport are real social practices that are reproduced and changed over time by human beings.”[117] The activism of women athletes has been crucial in altering social expectation, roles, and stereotypes within a resistant male-dominated structure of athletics. Success in one area, however, has fostered problems in another. To raise the profile of women’s sports and to approach parity with men, women have been driven down the men’s road of winning, gaining fans, raising money, getting television coverage and sponsorship.[118] The sense of a distinctive mission and cultural imperative that female clientele be directed by women has been subsumed into the dominant male model of competition and commercialization. With today’s media and marketing pressures, the likely alternative was continued marginalization.

TABLE 1

Administration

A: Full-time Athletic Administrators Nationally and by Conference,1978-99

 



1978-79

 

1982-83

 

1986-87

 

1989-90

 

1998-99*

 

1998-99 Athletic
Directors

 

 

 

M

 

F

 

M F

 

M F

 

M F

 

M F

 

M F

 

CIAU

 

53

 

19

 

79 23

 

79 41

 

93 53

 

89 66

 

32 11

 

Atlantic

 

10

 

1

 

10 0

 

13 1

 

16 10

 

13 9

 

7 3

 

Quebec

 

8

 

1

 

23 1

 

31 15

 

29 14

 

13 2

 

5 0

 

Ontario

 

22

 

14

 

27 15

 

25 19

 

36 20

 

40 39

 

10 7

 

Great Plains

 

6

 

0

 

8 3

 

5 2

 

3 2

 

6 2

 

4 0

 

Canada West

 

7

 

3

 

11 4

 

5 4

 

4 9

 

17 14

 

6 1

Ontario was the only conference to maintain a separate governing organization for men and women’s athletics. *Decrease in 1990s due to result of new categorization “Athletics Directors, Coordinators and Managers,” but gender differentiation is little affected.

Statistics for all tables are derived from CIAU, “Comparative Study: Relative Opportunities for women in the CIAU,” 1982, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1999. The first was prepared by Joan Vickers and Barbara Gosling. There are discrepancies in the order of 1% between original reports and retrospectives. The summary table for 1986-87 has some arithmetical inconsistencies with sub-tables in that 1987 report; in those cases, data for 1985-86 have been used.

B: Voting Representatives to the CIAU Annual Meeting

 

1978

 

1980

 

1983

 

1986

 

1989

 

2000

 

 

 

M

 

F

 

M F

 

M F

 

M F

 

M F

 

M F

 

CIAU

 

44

 

25

 

57 18

 

48 21

 

42 28

 

49 22

 

46 30

 

Atlantic

 

10

 

5

 

12 5

 

12 3

 

13 5

 

13 3

 

10 8

 

Quebec

 

5

 

2

 

11 1

 

7 0

 

5 3

 

9 2

 

8 4

 

Ontario

 

17

 

11

 

16 9

 

15 12

 

15 12

 

18 11

 

16 12

 

Great Plains

 

5

 

3

 

9 0

 

7 2

 

4 3

 

3 2

 

* *

 

Canada West

 

7

 

4

 

9 3

 

7 4

 

5 5

 

6 4

 

12 9

* Merged with Canada West

C: Member of CIAU Committees

 

1978-79

 

1980-81

 

1982-83

 

1986-87

 

 

 

M

 

F

 

M

 

F

 

M

 

F

 

M

 

F

 

National

 

34

 

19*

 

37

 

15

 

39

 

20

 

27

 

27

 

Atlantic

 

7

 

4

 

8

 

3

 

9

 

3

 

5

 

4

 

Quebec

 

6

 

1

 

9

 

1

 

9

 

2

 

7

 

2

 

Ontario

 

9

 

8

 

7

 

9

 

8

 

9

 

7

 

9

 

Great Plains

 

6

 

3

 

6

 

1

 

6

 

3

 

3

 

7

 

Canada West

 

6

 

3

 

7

 

1

 

7

 

3

 

5

 

5

* 25 before amalgamation

TABLE 2

ATHLETES IN CIAU SANCTIONED PROGRAMS

A: Total Number of Athletes in CIAU Sanctioned Programs. 1978-95

 

 

 

1978-79

 

1982-83

 

1985-86

 

1991-92

 

1994-95

 

1994-95**

 

Male

 

4425

 

5077 (15%)

 

5358* (6%)

 

5636 (5%)

 

5960* (6%)

 

3206

 

Female

 

1714

 

2151 (25%)

 

2321 (8%)

 

2899 (25%)

 

3195 (10%)

 

3195

 

Total

 

6139

 

7228 (18%)

 

7679 (6%)

 

8535 (11%)

 

9155 (7%)

 

6401

(Percentage increase from previous year)

* 2384 in 1985-86 and 2754 in 1994-95 in men's only sports of football, ice hockey and wrestling.

** Excluding men's only sports.

B: Percentage of Total Athletes by Gender in CIAU Sanctioned Programs, 1978-81; 1991-95 figures in ( )

 

 

 

CIAU

 

Atlantic

 

Quebec

 

Ontario

 

Great Plains

 

Canada West

 

Male

 

72 (64)

 

72 (63)

 

77 (62)

 

73 (64)

 

70 (63)

 

70 (62)

 

Female

 

28 (36)

 

28 (36)

 

23 (37)

 

27 (36)

 

30 (36)

 

30 (37)

C: Total Number of Sport Programs and Percentages of Sanctioned Sport Programs Offered in 44 CIAU Universities, 1978-95*

 

 

 

1978-79

 

1989-90

 

1994-95

 

Male

 

253 (74%)

 

257 (63%)

 

255 (63%)

 

Female

 

136 (63%)

 

200 (63%)

 

211 (70%)

* Prior to 1980-81, five sports for women and nine sports for men were sanctioned. In 1980-81, cross-country was added for women and track and field for both sexes. See Table 4 for 2000.

TABLE 3

Full and Part-Time Coaches For Women's Sports

Nationally and in Ontario, 1978-99

A. Full Time Ontario ( )

 

 

 

1978-79

 

1985-86

 

1989-90

 

1992-93

 

1998-99

 

Increase 1978-99

 

Male coaches

 

22 (7)

 

59 (28)

 

45 (17)

 

39 (16)

 

53 (29)

 

31 (22)

 

Female Coaches

 

68 (28)

 

59 (28)

 

58 (26)

 

46 (21)

 

46 (21)

 

-22 (-7)

B: Part Time Ontario ( )

 

 

 

1978-79

 

1985-86

 

1989-90

 

1992-93

 

1998-99

 

Increase 1978-99

 

Male coaches

 

41 (17)

 

65 (24)

 

85 (34)

 

68 (34)

 

133 (50)

 

92 (33)

 

Female coaches

 

29 (15)

 

34 (16)

 

41 (24)

 

27 (15)

 

49 (20)

 

20 (5)

TABLE 4

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SPORTS (2000 and 1979)

 

MEN

 

WOMEN

 

2000

 

1979

 

2000

 

1979

 

Basketball

 

Basketball

 

Basketball

 

Basketball

 

Cross Country

 

Cross Country

 

Cross Country

 

 

 

Football

 

Football

 

Field Hockey

 

Field Hockey

 

Ice Hockey

 

Ice Hockey

 

Ice Hockey*

 

 

 

Soccer

 

Soccer

 

Soccer

 

 

 

Swimming

 

Swimming/diving

 

Swimming

 

Swimming/diving

 

Track & Field

 

Gymnastics

 

Track & Field

 

Gymnastics

 

Volleyball

 

Volleyball

 

Volleyball

 

Volleyball

 

Wrestling

 

Wrestling

 

Wrestling*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rugby*

 

 

*new in 1999-2000


NOTES
 

1 The author thanks Stephanie Wilson, Samantha Millar, and Rachel Valks for research assistance; Irene Majer for careful typing of many drafts; Professors Carol Cooper, Pat Davis, and Wendy Mitchinson for helpful comments. Research funding for this project was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

2 Quoted in Marie Parkes, The Development of Women’s Athletics at the University of Toronto (1961), 1.

3 Quoted in Port Hope Evening Standard, 6 Mar. 1961; clipping in University of Toronto Archives [UTA], A86/0008.

4 UTA, A83/0045.

5 Colin Howell, Blood, Sweat and Cheers (2001); Bruce Kidd, The Struggle for Canadian Sport (1996); M. Ann Hall, The Girl and the Game: A History of Women’s Sport in Canada (2002). Hall’s book appeared while this article was in press. For earlier publications on women’s sport see Helen Lenskyj, Women, Sport and Physical Activity: Research and Bibliography (1988, 1991, 1994). Hall and Lenskyj have pioneered the study of women’s sport in Canada. Their works are cited throughout. Nancy Struna has demonstrated the agency of women athletes in colonial America in People of ProwessSport, Leisure and Labor in Early Anglo-America (1996); similarly see J.A. Mangan and Fan Hong, eds., Freeing the Female Body: Inspirational Icons (2001).

6 Nancy Howell et al., Sports and Games in Canadian Life: 1700-Present (1969), 146; Parkes, Development, 44; “Introduction” to A83/0045 file in UTA; Hall, Girl, 32.

7 T. A. Reed, The History of the University of Trinity College, Toronto, 1852-1952 (1952), 205: Richard Moriarty, “The Organizational History of the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union Central, 1906-1955” (Ph.D. diss., Ohio State University, 1971), 43-44.

8 M. Ann Hall, “Creators of the Lost and Perfect Game? Gender, History and Canadian Sport,” in Sport and Gender in Canada, ed. Philip White and Kevin Young (2000), 18.

9 Kidd, Struggle, 75.

10 Varsity, 15 Jan. 1924.

11 Gary Burke, “An Historical Study of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Western Ontario” (M.A. thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1979), 297, 181.

12 Kidd, Struggle, 101; Parkes, Development, 33; see also Hall, Girl, 31-33, 57.

13 Jean Cochrane et al., Women in Canadian Life: Sports (1977), 41.

14 Mary Keyes, “The History of the Women’s Athletics Committee of the Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 1940-1973” (Ph.D. diss., Ohio State University, 1980).

15 Interview, Pat Davis. She was also long-time director of women’s athletics at the University of Waterloo.

16 Susan Cahn, Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women’s Sport (1994), 209. See also Susan Birrell and C. Cole, eds., Women, Sport and Culture (1994); Varda Burstyn, “The Rites of Men”: Manhood, Politics and the Culture of Sports (1999); D. M. Costa and S. R. Guthrie, eds., Women and Sport: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (1994); Hall, Girl, 70-79; Kidd, Struggle; Lenskyj, Out of Bounds: Women, Sport and Sexuality (1986), and “Whose Sport? Whose Traditions? Canadian Women and Sport in the Twentieth Century,” International Journal of the History of Sport 9, 1 (Apr. 1992): 141-50; Wendy Mitchinson, The Nature of Their Bodies: Women and Their Doctors in Victorian Canada (1991); Patricia Vertinsky, The Eternally Wounded Woman (1994).

 17 Ellen Gerber, “The Controlled Development of Collegiate Sport for Women 1923-36,” Journal of Sport History 2, 1 (Spring, 1975): 1.

18 H. Savage, J.T. McGovern, and H. Bentley, “Current Developments in American College Sport,” Carnegie Foundation Bulletin 26 (1931); H. Savage et al., “Games and Sports in British Schools and Universities,” Carnegie Foundation Bulletin 18 (1927).

19 Hall, “Creators,” 19; Girl, 74-79.

20 Mary Keyes, “Women and Sport,” in A Concise History of Sport in Canada, ed. Donald Morrow (1989), 231. University of Toronto temporarily withdrew from intercollegiate competition in 1933. Some writers may have too easily applied U.S. trends to Ontario.

21 Alan Metcalfe, “Paths to Freedom: Women’s Sport in Ontario in the Inter-War Years, 1919 to 1939,” North American Society for Sport History (2001); Hall, Girl, 57; see also Helen Gurney, Girls’ Sports: A Century of Progress (1979).

22 For U.S./Maritimes interactions see Howell, Blood, Sweat and Cheers; Lenskyj, Out of Bounds, 234.

23 Dorothy Burton, “The Early Years: Women’s Athletics at McMaster University” [1948-1952], Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (Winter, 1994): 9-13.

24 National Archives of Canada (NAC), MG28, I 175, Vol. 37: Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Association Minutes of Annual Meetings (Apr. 17, 18, 19, 1962), 7. The National Archives holds the AGM Minutes of the Western Association for the 1950s and 1960s.

25 Pat Davis, “Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association 1971-1981: A Commemorative Issue” (1981), A-6; UTA, A83/0045/33. The Western Association(s) regularly pleaded for government travel subsidies and received some. Canadian Interuniversity Sport (hereafter CIS) and (formerly) Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union Archives in Ottawa. The 1962 constitution sanctioned thirteen women’s and eight men’s sports but high-profile men’s sports, especially football and hockey, quickly had priority.

26 Elizabeth Chard’s and Pat Lawson’s addresses in Ann Hall, Jane Cameron, and Debbie Shogun, eds., “Women in Athletic Administration at Canadian Universities: A Report of the National Conference at the University of Alberta” (1981), 3, 4, 8-10.

27 Davis, “Ontario,” A-6.

28 Statutes of Canada, 1960-61, 9-10, E 11211, vol. 1, 421.

29 “Statement of Purpose” in UTA, A83/0045/33, and CIS Archives.

30 Patrick Harrigan, “The Schooling of Boys and Girls in Canada,” Journal of Social History 23, 4 (Summer, 1990): 809. At Western Ontario, overall enrolment increased from 3,402 to 10,851, women from 1,047 to 3,546. Donald Morrow, “An Historical Study of the Development of the Intramural Sports Program at the University of Western Ontario, 1878-1972” (M.A. thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1972), 189. At British Columbia, enrolment increased overall from 3,000 to 21,000, and from 2,600 women to 8,000: CIS Archives.

31 Interview, Pat Davis. See Moriarty, “Organizational,” 238-44, for attempts to block McMaster’s membership in the 1950s.

32 Cf. Davis, “Ontario”; UTA, A83/0045/33.

33 CAHPER, “Policy and Standards for University Women’s Athletic Programmes,” adopted at the meeting of University Women’s Physical Education Committee (May 22, 1968), 8.

34 Interview, Pat Davis.

35 Davis, “Ontario”; Susan Swain, “An Historical Study of Women’s Athletic Conferences in Ontario and Quebec, 1965-1971” (M.A. thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1978); Taylor, “A Historical Study of the Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union, Canada” (M.A. thesis, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 1971).

36 Quoted in Alison Prentice et al., Canadian Women: A History (1996), 350.

37 Ibid, 351. See also Douglas Owran, Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby-Boom Generation (1996).

38 Ruth Roach Pierson. “They’re Still Women After All”: The Second World War and Canadian Womanhood (1996), 143. She finds the same return to older values at the University of Toronto: Nancy Kiefer and Ruth Roach Pierson, “The War Effort and Women Students at the University of Toronto, 1939-1945,” in Youth, University and Canadian Society: Essays in the Social History of Higher Education, ed. Paul Axelrod and John G. Reid (1989), 161-83.

39 Hall, who was active in the period, wrote: “Many feminists saw sport as too trivial, much less important than other causes.” Girl, 183.

40 Interviews: Pat Davis, Marliese Kimmerlee (women), Andy Auch (men).

41 Burton, “Early,” 13.

42 Barbara W. Carnochan, “An Historical Analysis of the Women’s Athletic Program at the University of Windsor” (BPHE thesis, University of Windsor, 1971), 13-14. This thesis provides the basis for the following detail.

43 Pat Lawson’s address in Hall et al., “Women,” 8-10; Interview, Elizabeth Chard.

44 Interviews, Linda Watt, Barb Owen, Barb Everingham. I interviewed sixteen women athletes from different periods and sports. Richard Moriarity, emeritus athletic director at the University of Windsor, contacted many alumni for me. My first question to all was simply: “How did you enter athletics and what were your most memorable experiences?” All interviews were conducted in person.

45 J. G. Oulette, “Role of Athletics in Quebec Universities,” in The Role of Interuniversity Athletics: A Canadian Perspective, ed. A.W. Taylor (1986), 30; Letter to OUAA (Nov. 18-20, 1970) in University of Windsor Sport Archives, 96/030.

 46 Interviews, Marge Holman and Pat Davis.

47 University of Waterloo Archives, A79/0030/394; CIAU and Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport, Proceedings of the National Leadership Conference for Women in University Sport (Concordia University, 1987), 3.

48 From the personal library of Linda (Menard) Watt.

49 Hall, Girl, 156. Hall was one of those students.

50 Carnochan, “Historical,” 34; Interview, Bob Samaras. He inaugurated that style for men and wrote a book called Blitz Basketball. The women’s coach was Mrs. Higgs.

51 Reprinted in (University of Waterloo) The Chevron, Oct. 15, 1971; Beddoes’ words were little different from those of Vancouver journalist Andy Lytle, written in 1934 and quoted in Cochrane, Women, 50. See also M.J. Kane and J.B. Parks, “The Social Construction of Gender Difference and Hierarchy in Sports Journalism – Few New Twists on Very Old Themes,” Women in Sport & Physical Activity Journal 1 (Sept. 1992): 49-84.

52 The Globe and Mail, Sept. 5, 1973.

53 Statistics found in Keyes, “Administration of the Canadian Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Union,” CAHPER Journal 40, 6 (July/Aug. 1974): 23; see also John Marks’ series of articles concerning Ontario intercollegiate sports, The Globe and Mail, esp. 6 Apr. 1973. This includes complaints from a number of women athletic co-ordinators about second-class status for women.

54 Hall, Girl, 157.

55 UTA, A87/0027/3.

56 The Globe and Mail, Nov. 27, 1975.

57 Recommendations 77 and 78, p. 244.

58 Keyes, “Administration,” 21-22; Hall refers to the “East/West” split, Girl, 141.

59 NAC, MG 28, I 175; AGMs of WCIAA for these and following references to WCIAA. For the role of the West in men’s competition see Patrick Harrigan, “The Controversy About Athletic Scholarships in Canadian Universities: A Historical Perspective,” Sport History Review 32 (Nov. 2001): 140-68. In both 1961 and 1964 the CIAU had discussed the possibility of women's championships; CIS Archives.

60 Marilyn Pomfret’s recollection in Hall et al., “Women,” 5; Keyes, “Administration,” 21-22; Pat Davis, “History and Philosophy of the OWIAA” (1983), 12 (Personal copy of Davis).

61 Harrigan, “Controversy,” 143.

62 Correspondence in UTA, A83/0045/33, esp. Pat Austin of Alberta to Ann Hewitt of Toronto and Secretary of the WIAU.

63 1970 Constitution, Appendix P of AGM of CWIAU, 1974 in CIS Archives.

 64 Ibid, 23.

65 University of Waterloo Archives, A79/0030/394.

66 Pomfret in Hall et al., “Women,” 6; Interview, Dick Moriarty, long-time Athletic Director at Windsor and founding member of CIAU.

67 “Application to Fitness and Amateur Sport Directorate for assistance for three women’s National Intercollegiate Championships,” 8, 9, in CIS Archives.

68 Report on the National Conference on Women and Sport (May 24-26, 1974), 4.

[69] Proceedings of the Sport and Recreation as it Affects Women Conference, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan (Oct. 23-25, 1975), 7.

70 Keyes, “History,” 96.

71 Costa and Guthrie, Women, 238-46; Lenskyj, Out of Bounds, 15, 21; M. Ann Hall and Dorothy Richardson, Fair Ball: Toward Sex Equality in Canadian Sport (1982), 35.

72 “Purpose of Amalgamation,” Appendix N of CWIAU’s AGM in UTA, A83/0045; Mary Keyes’ address in Proceedings of the National Leadership Conference (1987) and interview in Windsor Star, June 12, 1982. Keyes was president of CWIAU. AGMs of CWIAU and CIAU, especially AGM of CWIAU, 1973, 25-26. Confirmed by interviews with Elizabeth Chard, Pat Davis, Marge Holman, and Marliese Kimmerlee. Few called themselves “feminists” at the time but their actions indicate that they would be considered “liberal feminists” in today’s vocabulary. Regarding athletic pioneers, Hall states: “Hardly any of these athletes saw themselves as feminist activists,” Girl, 183.

73 Interview, Pat Davis.

74 “Toward Gaining a Perspective on Competition,” Appendix A of OWIAA minutes, May, 1978.

75 Davis, “History and Philosophy,” 6.

76 Directory of Ontario University Athletics, 1984-85.

77 Based on CIAU directories for those years.

78 “Female Participation in Sport: The Issue of Integration Versus Separate but Equal. A Report for CAAWS and Sport Canada” (Apr. 1984), 68, CIS Archives.

79 Some universities sent regular faculty as well as athletic directors as representatives.

80 Canada, Sport Canada Policy on Women in Sport (1986), 7; Nancy Theberge, “Feminism and Sport: Linking the Two Through a New Organization,” Canadian Women’s Studies 4, 3 (Spring/May 1983): 79-81.

81 See Hall, Girl, 172-77.

82 Both in CIS Archives.

 83John Vickers and Barbara Gosling, The Changing Participation of Men and Women in the Canadian Inter-university Athletic Union, 1978-1982 (1984), 12, 44.

84 Sport, 35. Former Olympian Abby Hoffman became Director General of Sport Canada in 1981.

85 Ibid; Canada Fitness and Amateur Sport, Women in Sport Leadership (1981), 6.

86 Except where otherwise noted, the following information is derived from: CIAU, “CIAU Comparative Study: Relative Opportunities for Women in the CIAU: Athletes, Coaches, Administrators,” 1982, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1999, in CIS Archives.

87 The increase in the United States was greater, but the base was smaller even in 1980. Cf. Chronicle of Higher Education (Apr. 7, 2000), A57-59; J. Sopinka, Can I Play (1983), Appendix 10; New York Times, Feb. 13, 2001; “The Battle for Bucks,” Campus Canada, Sept./Oct. 1991.

88 Although some of her conclusions are controversial, Jessica Gavora presents incontrovertible evidence that the most rapid change in the United States occurred in the 1970s before any athletic regulations had been written for Title IX, which forbade sex discrimination in education, not specifically athletics. Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports and Title IX (2002).

89 Morrow, “History,” v, 238.

90 Stephanie Wilson, “The Administration of Female Athletics at the University of Waterloo” (M.A. Research Paper, 2001).

91 Sopinka, Can I Play, 106-12.

92 Quotations from Campus Canada, Nov./Dec. 1997; The Globe and Mail, Jan. 17, 1999. See also Elizabeth Etue and Megan Williams, On the Edge: Women Making Hockey History (1996); Nancy Theberge, Higher Goals: Women’s Ice Hockey and the Politics of Gender (2000). Women’s ice hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998.

93 Interviews, Linda Staudt, Denise Hébert, Stephanie Wilson, Kelly Dinsmore, Emily Duncan for the following.

94 The Globe and Mail, June 12, 1989.

95 Women, Sport, and Physical Activity (1991), 78.

96 Ann Hall and Patricia Lawson, “Womensport: Implications of the Changing Roles of Women,” in Body and Mind in the 1990s, ed. Frank Hayden (1980), 345-50; P.J. Galasso and M.J. Holman-Prpich, “Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value and Related Issues in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation” (1987), paper in University of Windsor Sports Archives. The latter concluded that administrative positions reflected education and experience but that there was salary discrimination versus women. There were 45 women and 156 men on physical education staffs in Ontario universities in 1983. Sopinka, Can I Play, 114. For purported advantages of each sex in coaching see also Hall and Richardson, Fair Ball, 62; Susan Birrell, “Discourses on the Gender/Sport Relationship: From Women in Sport to Gender Relations,” Exercise and Sport Science Review 16 (1988): 459-502.

97 Interviews, Bob Boucher, Gino Fracas, Marge Holman.

 98 J.F. LeDrew et al., “CIAU Athletes’ Perceptions of Coaching and Female Coaches,” in Proceedings for the 10th Commonwealth and International Scientific Congress, ed. F.I. Bell and G.A. Van Gyn (1994), 556-59. For an earlier study, see M.G. Holmen and B.L Parkhouse, “Trends in the Selection of Coaches for Female Athletes: A Demographic Inquiry,” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 52, 1(Mar. 1981): 9-18.

99 Kitchener-Waterloo Record, Feb. 17, 2001.

100 Ying Wushanley, “From ‘Educational Model’ to ‘Commercial Enterprise’: The Philosophical Change of U.S. Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics in the Title IX Era,” 28th NASSH Conference (May 26-30, 2000), 1, 7; R. V. Acosta and L. J. Carpenter, Women in Intercollegiate Sport: A Longitudinal Study – Fifteen Year Update 1977-1990 (1992); Mary Jo Festle, Playing Nice: Politics and Apologies in Women’s Sports (1996), 273, 285.

101 The earliest policy statement for “Equal Opportunity” that I found is for the University of Waterloo in 1972: “UW should undertake the provisions of equitable arrangements for women’s sports; that is, a proportionate level of coaching, facilities, competitive opportunities, practice time, uniforms and equipment, and travel allowances. In addition, UW should provide women coaches and athletic administrators with the same responsibility and career opportunities as men.” University of Waterloo Archives, A77/0004.

102 Sopinka, Can I Play, 114.

103 Interviews, Joanne MacLean, Elizabeth Chard, and some athletic directors who did not wish to be named.

104 University of Waterloo, Imprint, Mar. 15, 2002.

105 The Globe and Mail, Jan. 17, 1994; Winnipeg Free Press, Apr. 24, 1995; Halifax Chronicle, Jan. 24, 1991. For similar tensions between women’s sport and football expenditures in the U.S., see John R. Thelin, “Good Sports? Historical Perspective on the Political Economy of Intercollegiate Athletic in the Era of Title IX, 1972-1997,” The Journal of Higher Education 71, 4 (July/Aug. 2000): 391-410.

106 Interviews, Elizabeth Chard, Judy McCrae, Robert Boucher, Joanne MacLean. The last two are the past and present heads of the School/Faculty of Kinesiology at Windsor.

107 Interview, Bruce Kidd.

108 Clippings and report in UTA, A97/0015.

109 Interview, Kidd.

110 Ken Dryden, A Review of Athletics and Recreation for Queen’s University (1997).

111 1994: 7, 23; 1997: 9. Copies of both reports given to me by Bruce Kidd.

112 Interview, Kidd.

113 The earliest specific mention of the OWIAA asking the OUA for equity was a special committee report in 1988 in CIS Archives. It referred to the 1987 conference at Concordia, especially Donald Macintosh’s address in Proceedings, 30-45. Interviews: Pat Davis, Judy McCrae, Joanne MacLean, Thérèse Quigley. The last was president of the OWIAA at the time of the merger.

114 OUA Board Minutes, Dec. 13-14, 2000, in OUA Archives. My emphasis.

115 Black Tights: Women, Sport, and Sexuality (2002); Hall, Girl, 197. All sixteen of the women athletes from four different decades that I interviewed answered “no” to the question: Did you receive taunting or feel the need to be sexier because you were an athlete? See also athlete Nicole MacDuff’s rejection of claims of “victimization” in Hayden, Body, 365. Vestigial stereotypes remain. See Margery Holman, “The Hidden Meaning of Attire,” unpublished paper given me by the author and Holman, “Female and Male Athletes: Accounts and Meanings of Sexual Harassment in Canadian Inter-university Athletics” (Ph.D. diss., Michigan State University, 1995). The latter surveyed 1024 male and female athletes (407 responded). Its tables show few cases of physical abuse of either gender despite some notorious cases but verbal harassment of female athletes has been more common (138ff.).

116 Keyes, “Government Involvement in Fitness and Amateur Sport,” in A Concise History of Sport in Canada, ed. Morrow, 247; Festle reached a similar conclusion regarding the United States: Playing Nice, 289. Mary Keyes died shortly after I had contacted her for an interview.

117 Hall, “The Discourse of Gender and Sport: From Femininity to Feminism,” Sociology of Sport Journal (1998): 331. In other writings she refers to a “history of cultural struggle”: “Creators,” 7; Girl, 1.

118 Hall discusses “the commodification of physicality”: Girl, 188-99. At the 1999 annual general meeting of the association of Canada’s national team athletes (CAN), athletes flocked to the workshop, “How to Market Yourself,” while studiously avoiding the one concerning harassment; Robinson, Black, 25.



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