The A – Z of Who I Could Be

The A - Z of Who I Could Be

The A – Z of Who I Could Be











The A – Z of Who I Could Be

Chloe Dalton

Kim Siew

A & U Children’s, 2023

64pp., hbk., RRP $A22.99


When she was young, the author used to love watching people like Anna Meares, Louise Sauvage and Nova Peris as they appeared on the world stage of the Olympics or Paralympics, but then despaired as they disappeared for the next four years. Female sporting heroes were not worthy of prime time television and there were few role models to aspire to so she founded the [female] athlete project to redress the balance – 40% of participation but only 4% of television coverage.

Being an Olympic gold medalist herself, Dalton is well-placed to understand the need for young girls to have role models and so in this new book she has created a thumbnail sketch  of Australia’s top female and non-binary athletes, Olympians, Paralympians and World Champions – from Ash Barty to Zali Steggall – across 26 different sports including  Ash Barty (tennis), Belle Brockhoff (snowboard cross), Taliqua Clancy (beach volleyball), Danni Di Toro (para-table tennis), Ellie Cole (para-swimming), Caitlin Foord (soccer), Georgia Godwin (gymnastics), Tayla Harris (boxing/AFLW), Isis Holt (para-athletics), Jessi Miley-Dyer (surfing), Steph Kershaw (hockey), Lydia Lassila (aerial skiing), Anna Meares (cycling), Nova Peris (athletics/hockey), Bendere Oboya (athletics), Ellyse Perry (cricket), Alicia (Quirk) Lucas (rugby 7s), Madison De Rozario (wheelchair racing), Sharni (Layton) Norder (netball), Ariarne Titmus (swimming), Tamika Upton (NRLW), Darcy Vescio (AFLW), Melissa Wu (diving), Jessica Fox (canoe slalom), Yvette Higgins (waterpolo), and Zali Steggall (alpine skiing),

As well as acknowledging the achievements of these women and perhaps inspiring young girls to find out more about those they admire, perhaps it would also inspire a class dictionary of other female athletes who are the students’ heroes so they, too, become household names. Perhaps names like  Jessica Fox,  Sam Kerr or Alyssa Healy might feature or even those of Dawn Fraser, Lauren Jackson or Debbie Flintoff on whose shoulders they stand.

Given their achievements recently one could argue how many female Australian cricket or soccer team members the general public could have named just twelve months ago so perhaps with book like these and the increase in interest, we are moving towards Dalton’s dream that  “One day, female athletes will receive equal coverage in the media, and will be recognised by their achievements, not by their gender”.   

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