OFFSIDE is the Podcast that brings to life the autobiographical memoir (of the same name) of Rhonda Leeman Taylor, one of the founding members of women’s hockey in Canada, as it was reborn after the initial surge in the early 1900s and subsequent decline after the 1930s. The show features the most prominent leaders in women's hockey (players, coaches, advocacy experts...) in fun, free-flowing, but deep-diving discussions that will draw you in and show you the importance of breaking through these challenges in Women's Hockey...which will help knock down other barriers faced in all aspects of life. Rhonda Leeman Taylor helped to bring back organized hockey for women in Canada in the early 1980s. Not only was she a founding member of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA), but Leeman Taylor was also the first female to sit on Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors and fought for the right to hold a vote on the council. Moreover, Leeman Taylor was the founder and first director of the Female Council, now a subset of Hockey Canada. In 1983 Rhonda is credited to having persuaded nine of the ten members of the Female Council to agree to eliminate body contact from the women’s game in Canada, a policy which would eventually spread to women’s leagues across the globe. Furthermore, in 1982, Leeman Taylor was tasked with the job of Chair Organizer of the first Women’s Canadian National Hockey Tournament. Thanks to her labour in that respect, women’s hockey obtained an official sponsor (Shoppers Drug Mart), and received extensive coverage in multiple newspapers across the country (The Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, New Optimist Saskatchewan, Evening Patriot Charlottetown, Red Deer Advocate, and more) and for the first time, women’s hockey was broadcast on National television by the CBC. This tournament was a turning point for women’s hockey, as it changed the stigma against female hockey players, empowered young girls to partake openly in the sport they loved, and gave elite women a chance to vie for a national title like the men. The memoir of Rhonda Leeman Taylor is an essential and relatively unknown aspect of Canada’s hockey history, which has the potential to further the development of the women’s game on its path to equality with men. The memoir focuses mainly on the discrimination faced by women like Rhonda, as they struggled to make hockey a socially acceptable pastime for girls in Canada.
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