Category Archives: gender in sport

A Somersaultilicious Summer Ahead!

hayley & kika & jessica

4-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser holds a copy of Kika the Upside Down Girl, which she graciously endorsed on the back cover – I hold her gold medal from Sochi. Very Inspiring!!

It is indeed exciting times for Jessica, Kika the Upside Down Girl and the FL!P movement!  Spring has been full of wonderful opportunities to engage with students, athletes, coaches, publishing & literary professionals, festival guests and happy Kika the Upside Down readers.

As we look ahead, I am thrilled to be engaging in so many amazing events that will undoubtedly build our community of confident, creative and fliptastic fans! 

Highlights:

The Art of Leadership for Women Conference – attendee & Hayley Wickenheiser fan (see photo above!). May 29, Toronto.

Gymnastics Ontario’s National Acro Cup – Kika the Upside Down Girl presenter and vendor  at inaugural competition.  June 6-7, Humber College, Toronto.

Pickering Invitational Gymnastics Competition – Kika the Upside Down Girl speaker and author signing.  June 21, Pickering.

Pan Am Games one year countdown – athlete representative & speaker. July 12, Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto

Camp Woodward – Guest coach, physical literacy expert & FL!P presenter. June 28 – July 5, Woodward, PA, USA.

Literature for Life – Reading Circle facilitator & FL!P Approach presenter. August, Toronto.

Seneca College – lecturer/speaker. July & August, Seneca College, Toronto.

Word on the Street – Kika the Upside Down Girl kids stage presenter & author signing. September 21, Queen’s Park Circle, Toronto.

Chapters Indigo Yorkdale – Kika the Upside Down Girl reading & book signing. TBA September, Toronto.

INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair – Kika the Upside Down Girl presenter & author signing. November 13 – 16, Toronto.

Reading for the Love of It Conference – Kika the Upside Down Girl presenter & author signing. TBA February 2015, Toronto.

Inspiring Girls to Live Upside Down in a Right Side Up World

Jessica and Ana P from Gemini Gymnastics

The U.N. has declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.  Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” What will you do to inspire girls?

As an educator, Olympic gymnast, Mom, and former “girl child”, I am excited to see events happening worldwide to encourage the flourishing of girl power and inspire gender-free opportunity for all.

I also wonder what my responsibility is towards encouraging positive movement forward for girls? In asking myself this, I realized that sharing my own story is one way to inspire action and change.

As a young girl, Continue reading

Boys in “Girlie” Sports like Gymnastics

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Evolution Gymnastics Aurora’s Julien, Daniel & Kieran

As a follower of fellow Olympic gymnast turned educator and inspirational health advocate Kyle Shewfelt (@KyleShewfelt), I read with interest his recent blog post about the challenges boys face when they decide to participate in, and commit to, a “girlie” sport like gymnastics. The piece resonated with me on two levels – as a former female gymnast and as a parent of a young boy.

As a young female gymnast, I never encountered any hostility or judgement about my choice.  Often, it was the opposite, “Wow, gymnastics seems like such a great fit for you; it’s athleticism and artistry all rolled into one.  Good luck with it.”  Never had to think twice about gender and why I chose this particular sport. Besides, the male gymnasts we competed alongside were so much older than us, we never had much in common!

But, for boys like Kyle, things were a bit different.  Kyle shares, Continue reading