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Girls Don't Play Sport : The game-changing, defiant rise of women's sport, and why it matters - Chloe Dalton

Girls Don't Play Sport

The game-changing, defiant rise of women's sport, and why it matters

By: Chloe Dalton

Paperback | 15 August 2023

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A timely and defiant manifesto unpacking the past, present and future of women's sport, from the Olympic gold medal-winning founder of The Female Athlete Project.

When Chloe Dalton was eight years old, she would kick a rugby ball around the field during the half-time break of her brothers' games. People noticed she was a handy kick, but when they told her she should join a team, she replied matter-of-factly, 'Girls don't play rugby.'

Sixteen years later, Chloe Dalton won Olympic gold playing rugby 7s for Australia and she is now a fixture in the AFLW. In 2020, she started her own news platform, The Female Athlete Project, to correct the lack of media coverage of women's sport. She was surrounded by women achieving incredible things, so why weren't people hearing about them?

The answer, it turned out, was complicated. Chloe was constantly fed the false narrative that women don't get paid much because female sport isn't as good as the men's equivalent, so nobody wants to watch it, therefore advertisers won't invest in it. This book shines a light on the interwoven quagmires of respect, opportunity, representation and pay that continue to stall the progress of women's teams around the world.

Girls Don't Play Sport is a fierce manifesto for supporting female athletes at all levels, exploring how we got to this point and where we need to go next to embrace the untapped potential of women's sport.

About the Author

Chloe Dalton is one of Australia's few triple sport elite athletes. During a 2020 lockdown, Chloe created a platform to recognise and celebrate the stories and achievements of female athletes, in an attempt to address the gender inequalities that exist within the sports media space. The [female] athlete project is now the fastest growing women's sport platform in the country.

Chloe was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2017, and in 2021 was recognised at the 'Her Sport Her Way' Awards alongside Casey Dellacqua with the Champion Award, for her outstanding achievements and her commitment to furthering opportunities for women and girls to participate in sport. Chloe currently plays AFLW with the GWS Giants in her hometown of Sydney and works part-time with the Giants media team.
Industry Reviews
"'An enthralling read about the trajectory of women's sport in modern society. The story told by Chloe shows how she is as accomplished on the field(s) as she is passionate about the continuous push to progress female athletes in Australian sport.'
Ellyse Perry


'An incredibly important insight into the history and current reality for women playing sport-a must-read.'
Laura Henshaw


'Gripping, groundbreaking and essential reading. You'll want to read this with a highlighter handy, I had so many ""a-ha"" moments while reading this. For too long female sport has been undervalued and under-resourced. But the tide is turning, and the message this book presents is clear: ignore us at your own peril.'
Cate Campbell


'Girls Don't Play Sport is an achievement by Chloe Dalton that is incredibly captivating, empowering and relatable. Her passion and ability to bring the stories of female athletes to life make this book a must-read. It is a testament to the strength and determination of women who have defied societal expectations and left an indelible mark on the world of sports.'
Ellie Cole


'A brilliant argument in favour of the case for women's sport.'
Liz Ellis


'Chloe's tireless commitment to sharing female athletes' unique stories and struggles is inspiring.'
Tayla Harris










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