I am on a mission to make a definitive list of women in sports books from Australia.
After browsing my local new and second hand bookshops, I figured it would be fairly easy, compared to the forest of pages written on male athletes, there actually aren’t all that many books about women and girls in sport.
The last couple of years have seen an explosion, especially in biographies. More media coverage and more attention equals more women’s sport books! So my goal of a ‘definitive list’ is unfulfilled… so far.
Some criteria: the books need to be about Australian women in sport. They need to be written or at least co-authored by a woman.
I’ve made a start but I would like you to send me some more recommendations and reviews so I can keep updating this list.
Which was your favourite? Let me know in the comments.
By: Angela Pippops (2017)
“Pippos gives an astute insight into the systemic sexism in Australian sport that has excluded women for so long. Through her historic analysis, observations and personal experience from working in sports media, this book is a powerful rally cry for change.” – Kasey Symons
By: Fiona Crawford, Lee McGowan (2019)
“Women’s football in Australia is on a bit of a high at the moment but it’s been a long road and it’s not over yet. Like all women’s sport in this country, there have been overwhelming odds and heartbreak and it’s the due to the endurance and persistence of the women’s football community that kept the game going. Never Say Die is full interviews with FIFA and FFA board members, Matildas past and present, W-League coaches and players, and state and club administrators. And my football club, The Flying Bats, get a mention so 5 stars for that alone!” – Danielle Warby
By: Megan Maurice, Jenny Sinclair (2016)
“Shine is an engaging read from start to finish. The personalities of all the players really ‘shine’ though and there’s plenty here for everyone from the casual reader to the biggest die-hard netball fan.” – Danielle Warby
By: Brunette Lenkic, Rob Hess (2016)
“[Play On] has helped everyone who has been a small piece of the women’s football puzzle to realise that they are part of a much bigger picture.” – Brunette Lenkic
By: Jelena Dokic, Jessica Halloran (2017)
“I found this book very confronting. It wasn’t just the abuse that Jelena endured at the hands of her father, which was brutal, but also the lack of duty of care shown by those that could have helped. A discussion desperately needs to be had around protecting vulnerable children in sport. A must read.” – Danielle Warby
“An incredible read” – Megan Maurice
Edited by: Justin Wolfers, Erin Riley (2018)
“Balancing Acts offers different perspectives on the role sports play in broader culture and the intersections of sport in diverse issues. This book is a philosophical, creative approach to writing about sport and provides insights and ideas from a variety of voices (some who might just be Siren co-founders so we know we’re blowing our own horn a bit here!).” – Kasey Symons
By: Samantha Lane (2018)
“Roar gives a detailed modern history of how the AFLW came to be and shares the stories of those who were instrumental in the game’s development and of those who are the voices of its future. Lane’s writing is always compassionate and engaging and this book is no exception.” – Kasey Symons
By: Nadine Champion (2017)
“Nadine Champion is a Thai Boxing and Kickboxing Champion. A woman with big dreams trying to find a way through her fear and self-doubt, realising she was seeking approval and validation from her Sensei because she didn’t believe she was ‘enough’ and who (in order to achieve her goals inside the ring) had to confront the reality of who she was outside the ring.” – Jen Brown, Sparta Chicks Radio.
By: Ellyse Perry (2019)
“I think this is the perfect book for young women starting to consider professional sport. It’s easy to read with some great advice on focus, determination, working hard and looking after yourself. Perry’s has essentially written a handbook, sharing her story with the aim to influence and help others.” – Kasey Symons
Australian women in sport biographies and memoir
By: Carole Cooke (2017)
By: Dr Bridie O’Donnell (2018)
By: Lauren Jackson (2018)
By: Tia-Clair Toomey (2018)
By: Layne Beachley, Michael Gordon (2009)
By: Michelle Payne, John Harms (2016)
By: Tayla Harris, Jennifer Castles (2020)
By: Stephanie Asher (2017)
By: Jana Pittman (2017)
By: Moana Hope (2017)
By: Libby Trickett (2019)
By: Cathy Freeman (2007)
By: Gai Waterhouse (2010)
By: Betty Butcher (1996)
By: Leisel Jones, Felicity McLean (2017)
By: Adrienne Cahalan (2006)
By: Jade Hameister (2018)
By: Jessica Watson (2011)
Australian women in sport anthologies
By: Dr. Marion Stell (1991)
By: Richard Cashman, Amanda Weaver (1991)
Fiction about women’s sport
By: Sarah Thornton (2019)
Australian sports books for girls and boys
By: Lydia Williams, Lucinda Gifford (Illustrator) (2019)
By: Jo Stanley (2019)
By: Nicole Hayes, Alicia Sometimes (2017)
By: Jessica Watson (2018)