#LevelTheField Ambassador: Alexa Loo

Dec 02, 2015

For each week of the #LevelTheField campaign, viaSport will introduce a new ambassador, and share why gender equity is important to them. This week, Alexa Loo shares her story: 

“You throw like a girl!” he exclaimed at me disdainfully.

‘But, I AM a girl!’ I thought to myself helplessly.  Miserable, because I had finally gotten a chance to throw the ball and it landed squarely on the ground three feet in front of me – not even close to the person that I was trying to throw it to.

I can’t tell you how many times this scene played out for me in elementary school.  As if doing something “like a girl” was inherently wrong.  Ironically, it was often male phys. ed. teachers who said this to me.  Never mind that it was their JOB to teach me how to throw and catch. Somehow it was okay to make fun of me and make fun of my entire gender in the process.

Needless to say, I was always picked last at recess when the kids were putting together baseball teams. 

“We don’t want her, she throws like a girl!”

We can all imagine what happened to this little girl: she probably stopped trying and gave up and moved onto other things.

Alexa LooI did move onto other things. I started snowboarding. I have competed at 2 Olympic games, 5 World Championships and I have won 8 National titles in snowboarding.  Sadly, some of the coaches I have encountered continued to put me down for being a girl.

We had one snowboard coach whose favourite joke was, “How can you trust something that bleeds for 7 days and still lives?” 

Some of us got used to the bad behaviour and soldiered on.  Some of the girls dropped out and moved on to other things.  Some of those girls were really good; their departure from sport was a shame.

It doesn’t have to be like this. We can do better!  Let’s be the role models for the way people should be treated and developed in sport and in life. There is a whole new generation coming through the sport ranks who deserve better.  Join me and together, let’s #LEVELTHEFIELD!

Alexa Loo

#LEVELTHEFIELD is a province-wide movement that will work to create a more inclusive sport culture in BC. PRESS PLAY to watch and share our video and pledge to #LEVELTHEFIELD at viasport.ca/levelthefield.

Visit our Ambassadors page to learn more about the #LevelTheField ambassadors.