Empowering women through this Canadian pastime

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Female athletes in axe throwing are on the rise. Axe throwing, like many other sports, is largely a male-dominated sport. However, many female athletes have come forth with success stories within the sport which has been growing in interest.

In Kitchener, BATL axe throwing provides an opportunity for individuals to take part in the sport of throwing axes. For Jayme Wallace, Kitchener BATL is where she throws axes weekly within the Kitchener league. 

“Overall, my experience [axe throwing] has been really awesome. The community no matter which BATL I go to or which axe throwing place I go to everybody is really super welcoming,” Wallace said.

Wallace explained that it can be nerve-wracking to throw around men; however, her experiences thus far have demonstrated that, like many sports, axe throwing has a formed sense of community. 

“Everybody is really helpful and if there’s anything you ever have questions about, no matter who it is, they will stop what they’re doing and help you out,” Wallace said.

“I just honestly don’t have more good things to say about axe throwing because it’s a community … there’s so much love and I just love it so much.”

Within the Kitchener league, Wallace said the female-to-male ratio is approximately one to three. However, the stigma that men are more competent within athletics does not necessarily hold true within this accepting and welcoming community. 

“For young girls especially to see females in sport and our leaders in sport that is amazing to see because it also translates to life.”

“Of course, a lot of our top throwers are male, but I do now know that throughout all our locations we have awesome female throwers. Sometimes we don’t quite stack up to them but we still do really awesome,” she said. 

In all athletics, having female representation is crucial. In this sense, axe throwing is no exception. 

“I think it’s really good for young girls to see that no matter what you want to do, whether it’s a sport or anything, that if you put your mind to it you can do it. And it’s really awesome just to show everybody how much support we do get from males as well,” Wallace said. 

Courtney Bruce, athletes services and events assistant for Laurier Athletics, also echoed the importance of empowering females and ensuring young women have mentors to look up to within athletics. 

“I think the way to be successful as a female athlete is to have a support team around you,” Bruce said.

“Society has this whole [mentality] that girls are against each other and i think it’s important that we come together and we support each other because we rise by lifting others,” Bruce said. 

In specific, having women athletes with success stories inspires young women to set goals and  see realities in which women are flourishing. 

“I think that having mentors who are female so that you can see where are they are … I know for me growing up all of my coaches were male, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there was never a point where I could fully be like “oh that’s where I’m going to be” because at that time I didn’t see anybody,” Bruce said.

“For young girls especially to see females in sport and our leaders in sport that is amazing to see because it also translates to life.”

For both men and women, sports and athletics teaches important life skills such as teamwork, commitment, hard work, and more. As a result, it’s important to foster environments where all people feel welcome and able to participate and thrive. 

“Skills that you get from sports helps you translate into every day life which I think is a huge part of confidence which obviously goes to the commitment and it helps you with your road to being unstoppable,” Bruce said.

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