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Women in non-traditional sport, the rise and popularity of women's rugby in Canada

by O'Hanley, John Arthur

Abstract (Summary)
Women's rugby is Canada's fastest growing sport. Fernales in increasing numbers are starting to play, what was until recently, a traditional male sport. The concept of women engaged in full physical contact sport goes against the traditional view of women's participation This thesis is an attempt to identify the reasons for the tremendous growth in the women7s rugby in Canada and to share the expiences of the fernale rugby piayer. Participant obsagtion and a survey questionnaire were the methods employai to investigate the women's involvement in rugby. The survey questionnaire aliowed the players (162) an oppominity to express their expenences and perceptions of the evolving game of women's W3by- There has been a major expansion of the game at the high school level and mgby is amactllig anilti sport detes who have a desire to participate in physical contact team sport such as rugby. The women wish to play the game usingthe same laws ofthe game as men and have no desire to participate in some "watered-d'" version of the game. niey have encountered some barriers to th& invotvement in what was formeriy a male-oniy sport. These barriers include some negative &des pertaining to women in rugby, the unequal allocation of club resources and the lack of quality coaching. The players indicated that they have a major concem regarding injuries in rugby. The women have not had the opportunity to participate in contact sport fkom an early age and as a result, injury and the prevention of injury are important mers. Despite the obstacles the women have enwuntered, the game of women's rugby continues to thrive and expand at aii levels in Canada The conclucihg comments are a series of recommendatious based on the researcn data gathered fiorn the participants. 1would to thank my adviser, Dr. Hart Canteloq for his encouragement and support. Returning to university was a major personal decision and it would not have happened without his guidance and direction. Specid thank;r ro thefollowig indivchrals dgroups. John Phelan Lyxm Edwards Bev Fleming Stuart Adams Chantal Brunette-Rugby Canada 1997 British Columbia women's provincial rugby team and coach Ruth Hilhd Brown 1997 Saskatchewan women's provincial rugby team and Knsten Karwandy 1997 Quebec women's provincial rugby team and coaching staff 1997 Queen's University women's rugby team Alberta rugby club players who helped with the research, especially JO and Brenda 1997 Ross Shepard High School women's rugby team and coach John Devlin Ek Island School Division for their suppon and help
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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