Chloe Dalton OAM (born 11 July 1993) is an Australian professional Australian rules football, rugby union player and basketballer.



A comprehensive overview of how far we’ve come in women’s sport, and how much further we need to go.

Chloe Dalton is well-placed to offer a perceptive overview of the history of women’s sport, offering an acute assessment of the state of women’s sport today. As an athlete competing in a range of sports at all levels, and as the winner of a gold medal when she represented Australia playing rugby sevens at the Rio Olympics in 2016, Dalton was already admired for her sporting prowess. Now, she tackles the issues affecting women’s sport from every angle; the limited choices faced by girls wanting to play sport, the lack of resources and funding, as well as the barriers to playing sport at an elite level. She methodically unpacks social and cultural barriers including a lack of equality in participation, representation and respect. Even those of us with limited sporting interest or ability become intrigued by the ways the social fabric affects women’s sport at all levels and across all ages.

It would be easy to become bogged down with pessimism when considering the complexity of challenges faced by female athletes. But instead, Dalton draws strength from the women who stood before. By celebrating the success of past athletes, she blends research with personal experience to acknowledge that while barriers and discrimination faced by female athletes is significant, they can be overcome. Dalton inspires hope that the advancements that have been made in women’s sport will continue with every new generation, and that women’s sport will continue to thrive.

Her passion as both an athlete and a champion of women’s sport is clear. She draws on her own personal experiences to show the way that inequalities in sport affect women from the grass roots level right through to elite sport stars. She bears her frustrations and vulnerabilities on the page, and her honest account of the realities and intricacies of becoming an elite athlete is admirable and relatable. She reveals the physical, emotional and financial struggles that make us admire her and all female athletes even more. The inclusion of other voices, particularly those of First Nations athletes, Paralympians and Trans and gender-diverse athletes contributes to a rich exploration of the contemporary state of women’s sport. Some examples shared in the book will be familiar to readers with even a passing interest in sport, but it’s the cumulative effect of reading these examples, which Dalton thoughtfully contextualises within a wider social and cultural framework that ensures a perceptive insight into just how complex and deep-rooted the issues that affect women’s sport are.

Dalton’s book is accessible, informative, and it extends our appreciation of the collective experiences that have contributed to women’s sport, giving us plenty of food for thought. It fills us with awe for the resilience and tenacity shown by female athletes and inspires us to see that the progress made in the sporting arena can also be emulated across all other domains.

Review by Dragica Jukic

Chloe Dalton Girls Don’t Play Sport
Publisher:Allen & Unwin
Imprint:Allen & Unwin
Page Extent:240
Format:C-Format PB
Package type:PAPERBACK
Subject:Sociology: sport & leisure