Rucking into New Territory: A Case-Study on the Experiences of Pioneer Female Club Rugby Players in Ontario
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The gender hierarchy found within sport has been reinforced through the use of traditional interpretations of masculinity, making sport a well-suited arena to examine gender inequity in its many forms. My thesis explores the challenges experienced by female pioneer rugby players in Ontario and their participation in a traditionally masculine sport. In order to explore the experiences of the female pioneer club players in Ontario, I conducted interviews with eight women and did multiple forms of content analyses. The analyses allowed me to describe the type of support the participants had and the barriers these female players encountered relative to their male counterparts of the era. My findings indicated that gender inequity, in both blatant and habit based manifestations, was at the forefront of the challenges endured by the pioneer players. Further research should investigate women’s involvement with the political and policy development aspects of the sport of rugby.