Girls Invade Track and Diamond
Interest in track for girls is spriading rapidly across Canada. The Dominion has a team competing in England this month Baseball is also attracting feminine all over the country.
NORMAN REILLY RAINE
WAY back in the days when Diana Artemis was scoring bull's-eyes on the elusive hind with her little bow and arrow, and Athena, pinch-hitter for the Young Amazons, was making the rival twirlers pull in their belts over by the gas works back of Olympus, Old MAn Zeus sat in the bleachers and confided to kid Apollo over a bottle of nectar, (Imperial quart) that this old pill on which we live sure was headed for the kennel.
SV iy• em is `hezr~Ced. In my : ur.z nays ;~rIs used ) stay ti hm.' dnnza~nr arp~n nz fa:he:; ie~b~s - aric rnind.ng he:r r;s nnw. w~n • ne'.-:a~iz? no e HeUinic JJrald aLyu nati'~ keep em n :re hcm'~ a a.. you r:rinw re t•tlnz their at 1 `a-jJ~
pants and horn ng in on the track meets. You wait and see!' Many a weary prophet has climhed the tread mill of time since `hat historic utrance, and Zeus himself heads the Loral Option League of Elys urn, hut the huy daughters f -\ ena and Artemis flourish and grrw strong, an~I :ou have only to ook over the sand lots and athletic parks of Canada to-day to know that Zeus was right. And if further proof was needed it could he found
upon a ert am day, not long ago, when the girl athletes of the Dominion met in the University of Toronto ntadium, and in keenly fought competition derided the rrako-up of the team that was to represent Canada in the I nt ornat ion al Track and Field I eot~ at Stamford Bridge, Fr~glanrl, Ufl the firot of this month. \ paok~d gran(P~tancl greeted the initial parade of the t hlete~ ari,und the field, and you can take if from an approiat ivi ol~erver most of them would have given A phrod~t e long odds on looks, as well as measuring will up to the sport standards of her more agile contemp0 rar i e~. A fresh wind was blowing, and rustling the summer foliage of the neighboring trees, as the contestants tensed
themselves for the initial event, the hundred yard dash. Hot weather flannels, the colorful dresses of the lady spectators, bloomers, jerseys and shorts provided plenty of varied garb, and refreshments, a dog that was sat on and Oxford bags diverted the crowd. Strongly in evidence was the sporting spirit of partici pants and spectators. Most of the contestant~ were from Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Montreal and this fact is indicative that, although sports for girls and women are spreading in popularity all over the Dominion, the greatest progress has been made in these centres.
What the Ladies Did
I T WOULD be easy to give extensive re cords of times and dis tances, and to compare them with the per formances of girls of other countries and times, but to do so would be to wander from the raison d'etre of this article. The point is that Canadian girls, as never before, and in ever-increasing num bers, are storing up health, discipline, selfcontrol and a fine spirit of sportsmanship on the playing fields of the Dominion, and that the performances of many closely approxi mate those of the world's women leaders in track events. In comparison with English and world re cords for the discus throw, the work of Jean Godson is outstanding. With her right hand she threw the discus seventy-one feet, nine inches, and sixty-two feet, seven inches with her left, a total of one hundred and thirty our feet, four inches. The worlds record is one hundred and fiftyfour feet, two and one-half inches, and the English record one hundred and twenty-one feet, three-quarter inch. In addition, Miss Godson won the javelin throw, hurling it a total of one hundred and sixteen feet, two inches, only four feet, ten inches short of the English record. A Montreal girl, Miss Clara Ballard, came second with one hundred and nine feet, two inches. Prospective husbands take warning!
In the hundred yards Josie Dyment, of Hamilton, took the first heat in twelve seconds flat, and in the final, in the face of a strong breeze, beat Myrtle Cook, of Toronto, in eleven and four-fifth seconds, which is but three-fifths of a second more than the world’s record claimed for Miss Rosa Grosse, of Toronto. Unfortunately, Miss Grosse and Miss Fannie Rosenfeldt, who are two of the cleverest girl athletes on the continent, did not compete. Miss Cook won her preliminary heat in the same time that the final was captured.
Kathleen Flanagan, another bobbed-haired little lady from Toronto, although beaten in the hundred yards, galloped home with the bacon in the half-mile, but her epponents, K. Winton and Nellie Barnard, made her agitate the dust to do it. Miss Flanagan’s time was two minutes, fifty seconds. It is said she never misses a street car. If she doesn’t connect she just runs to the next corner and waits for it to catch up.
Miss Innes Bramley, like the elevator boy, has her ups and downs. For example, in the running high jump she went up for four feet, seven inches. So did Velma Springstead, of Hamilton. In the effort to break the tie Innes went down and Velma captured the event. The former, however, was not in her best form, for last winter she soared over the bar at four feet, eleven inches, and if you don’t think that is going some just try it some sunny day.
Molly Trinnell put the shot only two feet, one inch on the short end of the world’s record. This certainly entitled her to a chance to sit up and speak her piece at Stamford Bridge. Against Bella Cole, of Toronto, and Jean Godson, this smiling miss from the Virtuous Village perforated the atmosphere for a total of fifty-two feet, six inches. As an ex-artilleryman was heard to observe, Miss Trinnell should have been on the Western Front.
Women Athletes in Canada
T HIS meet, the first of its kind in Canada where such enthus iasm, keen competition, and diver sity of contestants were displayed, speaks well for the future of women's sport. It must not be thought, however, that because there were not more entries from other parts of the Dominion the female denizens of the trackless prairie, the wild and rugged Rockies and points west, and the daughters of the piscatorial At lantic provinces take a back seat to their brothers of the diamond, track and field. The `teen age girls of British Columbia have de veloped keenly and rapidly in every line of sport and athletics during the past five years. There is to be found in this far western province of natural outdoor facili ties and natural sport-talent, as promising material as anywhere else in Canada, and it is believed
by sport enthusiasts that B.C. girls could hold their own with those of any other section of the Dominion. Unfortunately that is as far as British Columbia goes. She lacks organization, training, competition and finances necessary. The consequence is that after the girls leave school their efforts run wild, they have no further incentive and no other opportunity to train, they lose their interest, and drop all field and track work.
It is, then, only the ’teen age girls who are established in this branch of athletics in B.C. They are making better records every year, and have become a decided factor in the track meets. No school now can enter championship competi-
tions and win on points made by the boys alone. In the inter-high school sports last year one school made the record number of points, but having no girls’ events lost the championship to another school which won on the girls’ points.
“The interest of girls in sports of all kinds has been gradual, of course,” said James Wallace, president of the Sunday School Association of Vancouver, “but their actual entry into that realm was more or less sudden, and was due, I think, to their new-found independence in the war. In Vancouver I can almost date it to the day I was
faced with practically every Sunday School class in the city, who came to me with the money in their hands. ‘Here we are,’ they said, ‘here’s our money. Now we want to join the Basketball League.’
Sport in B.C.
AT THE present moment baseball has the younger feminine generation of British Columbia in its grip, and, according to league officials, it has come to stay, though it is only during the last year that baseball leagues for girls have been formed. In Vancouver and the interior of B.C. the girls are particularly keen and enthusiastic and the game that they play is no lady-like game of rounders but the real boys’ game with gloves, mask and hard ball. Practically every little town through the Okanagan Valley has its girls’ baseball team and the championship this year was won by the Penticton team. There is one city in B.C., however, where baseball for girls has not proved popular. That is Victoria. This may be due to the fact that Victoria’s population is English to a large extent and baseball is not a popular game among them. Even in other parts of the province where baseball is being played it is not always looked upon favorably by some of the sports directors. “It is too rough a game for girls,” said one, “and it does not encourage the best type of onlookers and we do not consider it a good character moulding recreation.”
Continued on page 62
THE CANADIAN TEAM IN ENGLAND diss Alexandrine Gibb, manager, Toronto Hlara Ballard, Montreal jiace Conacher, Toronto dazel Conacher, Toronto vlyrtle Cook, Toronto [osie Dyment, Hamilton Cathleen Flanagan, Toronto lean Godson, St. Catharines Celma Springstead, Hamilton Vlollie Trinnell, Toronto Certrude Woods, Hamilton
Girls Invade Track and Diamond
Continued from page 13
In less boisterous games—tennis, golf, swimming—women over the school age are holding their own well. Victoria claims Marjorie Leeming, winner of three Canadian championships this year. To that city also goes the glory of Audrey Griffen’s achievements—two swimming championships for the whole of Canada. In Vancouver, too, women have established a polo club, a rowing club, ice and grass hockey teams, and are taking a live interest in every other line of sport.
There is a wide difference in opinion in B.C. as to the fut ure of women’s athletics. J. P. Watson, President of the Victoria Branch of the B.C. Athletic Union, declares that with some organization and promotion behind them, British Columbia women would go far. F. V. Shoemaker, assistant physical director of the Vancouver Y.M.C.A., who has taken a keen interest in the furthering of women’s sports, is of the opinion that field and track work is not a natural pursuit for women after they leave school and that no amount of organization will ever make them a permanent success. Bert Davidson, President of the Greater Vancouver Athletic Association, while he has every faith in B.C. girls as sportswomen, declares that they do not throw themselves wholeheartedly enough into them to become a real success. Said he:
“The American girl athlete unhesitatingly gets into shorts and a sweater and immediately sets out to work up a glow. Our Western Canadian girls are still a little diffident about such a costume, and so handicap themselves.”
A little incident occurred in Vancouver during the winter which gives point to Mr. Davidson’s theory. A girl went to enter a girls’ skating race. As she was about to give her name she hesitated, and then asked for the man in charge.
“What about this race—?” she began uncertainly.
“It’s a fifty-yard dash,” he told her.
“Oh, I don’t mean that,” stammered the little lady with a blush. “What 1 mean is—do we have to—that is—er— may we wear skirts instead of bloomers?”
A Prairie Province Romps Home
WHILE the world-famous Commercial Grads have earned for Edmonton the title of The Basketball City, keen interest has been evinced, the last few years, in girls’ field and track events, due to the fact that the Athletic Association of the Edmonton Public School Board has included several girls’ events on their field day program.
In a special race sanctioned by the Alberta Amateur Athletic Association, seventeen-year-old Florence Crang established a Canadian record by covering the two-twenty yard dash in twenty-nine seconds. The Association is confident that had Miss Crang received word in time to make the trip to Toronto to compete in the Stamford Bridge team eliminations, she would have won a place and done much to boost Canada at the International Meet.
Miss Crang, who is the daughter of Dr. Frank Crang, of Edmonton, well-known in Canadian sporting circles, has just completed a two-year course in physical culture at McGill University and is planning a whirlwind stampede on swimming and diving titles. She holds a silver and bronze medal from the Royal Life-Saving Association of Montreal, and was a member of the women hurdlers’ team at McGill. She does the hundred yards in twelve seconds, and the four-
forty yards in one minute, sixty-two seconds.
Ethel Barnett, also of Edmonton, recently covered the one hundred yard dash in twelve and three-fifth seconds, and the two-twenty in twenty-eight and three-fifth seconds.
Baseball and Basketball
THE growing popularity of baseball, particularly of the soft ball variety, is most marked not only in British Columbia but among Canadian girls. Most of the larger cities, and many small ones, scattered all across the country, have their soft ball leagues, school and industrial, for girls, and the enthusiasm they engender is tremendous. Edmonton has a senior league, with five teams, as well as a Junior Community and a Public School league. In Toronto at the present time a game between two teams of the girls’ leagues, particularly if they are near the top of the list, will draw a crowd far in excess of any attracted to any other sporting event in the city, with the possible exception of the regular International Baseball League games at the Island.
The skill developed by girl players is a revelation to those who have not realized the strides the game is making. There is a certain little pitcher on one of the Toronto industrial teams, for instance, for whom it is claimed that many large firms in the States gladly would give her an honorary job at a good salary, to have her on the factory team. She is Billy Smith of the K. and S. Suprêmes, and they do say that her trickiest curves are less dangerous than her big brown eyes.
Another sport which is enjoying growing popularity among girls and women is canoeing and rowing. In Victoria, B.C., if you cast an eye. or two over the beautiful expanse of water in front of the Parliament buildings, on any fine evening, you may see issuing from a nearby wharf a crew or two of Victoria’s feminine
best, attired in shorts and sweaters, and i pulling a four-oar shell. Feather and ! stroke are perfect. The beautiful swing of well-trained muscles over the shining ¡ water, the keen, bubbling wake of the speeding craft and the clean lines of the rowers make one realize that here, at least, is a sport peculiarly fitted to the feminine, from an aesthetic as well as physical viewpoint.
The Water Babies
ALLIED with this is natation, as the ■ highbrows among the duck and fish rivals call it. Most of the speed merchants in this line do not natate, however. They swim—and if you’ll take the word of a scribe with the high sign of Missouri in his eye our Canadian girls sure do know how. As a bright and shining example.—Miss Hilda Huestis! Ta-ra-a-a-a! Miss Huestis, ladies and gentlemen, looks like a baby doll, but she recently elevated herself to the Canadian championship of the hundred yards, by the effective and simple process of beating all and sundry over Montreal way, not long ago. Although only seventeen years old, this Toronto
girl holds the Canadian fifty yard and one ! hundred meter records, and in addition is a finished sprinter and jumper, and one of j the cleverest girl gymnasts in the Dominion.
At the same time that Hilda donned her seaweed crown Irene O’Byrne, also of Toronto, by dint of a mean pair of fins filched the special Canadian championship for the two hundred yards and also won the fifty yard back stroke. In order that these two ladies would not feel lonesome in their eminence, Laura Little, of the same aquatic town, annexed the fancy diving title. They tell me that Toronto was unbearably puffed up over it all, but, really, Gertrude, can you blame her?
Hazel Kessler, who hails from Winnipeg, is living proof that the milkman does not monopolize the water supply of that ambitious city. Miss Kessler holds the Canadian one hundred yard swimming record, and the four-forty yard record and championship.
It is peculiarly appropriate, perhaps, that with such an unlimited supply of I H20 in sight the record for the ten mile | swim should be held by a girl from the j Maritime Provinces—Miss Eva Morrison, of Halifax. With Europe just across the | way there is no saying what Miss Morrison will accomplish one of these days.
Pre-eminent among all sports for women, however, and those perhaps most j suitable in the opinion of the majority of ! sporting men, are track and field games and events. It is an encouraging sign of the times, and a real contribution to the health and stamina of future Canadians, that more and more of our girls and women are subjecting themselves to the discipline of training, and entering so eagerly and with so fine a sporting spirit into competitive games. It. is but one more of the many features of Canadian womanhood in which—ahmm!—a mere male may take just pride. You’re welcome, ladies.