Player's Own Voice In Studio: Chasing the sporting life

This installment of Player's Own Voice In Studio features Canadian Marathon record holder Malindi Elmore and Olympian, Hall of Famer, and advocate for indigenous sport, Waneek Horn-Miller. The pair describe how they defied national trends to make sports a regular part of their lives.

How to put sports in the mix for more Canadian women

Canadian Marathon record holder Malindi Elmore, left, and Olympian and advocate for youth and indigenous sport, Waneek Horn-Miller, joined Player's Own Voice In Studio to discuss strategies for putting sport in the mix for Canadian Women. (Composite image via CBC sports)

It's tempting, since 82 per cent of Canadian women never participate in sports, to brood on the causes of that painful statistic. But if we flip attention to the other 18 per cent?

What happens in their lives, that lets them enjoy sports on the regular?

Player's Own Voice in Studio enlists two exceptional Canadian athletes to talk about putting sport back in the weekly mix in women's lives.

Malindi Elmore is a category-busting runner. At 40 years old, she smashed the Canadian marathon record, and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. That was only her second-ever 42k run, and she trained for it on her own terms, befitting the schedule of a busy coach and mother of two youngsters. She has been an elite runner for 25 years, and has lots of intel to share about why her sport attracts more women than men consistently now. What is it about running that fits the bill for so many women?

Waneek Horn Miller was co- captain of Canada's first women's Olympic water polo team. She is a nationally known advocate for youth sport, indigenous health and equity, and a member of Canada's sports hall of fame. Waneek's sporting life took shape in a family of four sisters and a single mom. Her big political awakening began when she nearly lost her life to a bayonet wound in the 1990 Oka crisis.

Hosts Anastasia Bucsis and Signa Butler begin the discussion at the first major hurdle women face, which is adolescence. All four women bucked the trend and stayed sporty through those early teen years. What made the difference for them? Family support, good coaches, friends and mentors all have a role to play. Issues surrounding body image and the lack of women athletes on tv are also in the mix.

Rounding out the conversation we offer a wry tip of the hat to International Women's Day, in our POV Quiz.

WATCH | Elmore and Horn-Miller on Canadian Women and the sporting life: 

Player's Own Voice in Studio: From girls to women, staying in sport through adolescence

11 months ago
Duration 28:27
Joined by Malindi Elmore and Waneek Horn-Miller, to discuss keeping girls and women in sport - at all ages. Both Waneek and Malindi share heartwarming anecdotes of their time through the awkwardness of puberty to performing on the Olympic stage. 28:27

Player's Own Voice in Studio is the newest way that CBC Sports audiences can get to know the inner life of athletes, following in the path of Player's Own Voice podcast and the Player's Own Voice personal writing series.

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