Female sports stars encouraged to tell their stories through books

By Louise Toal

Female sports stars have been encouraged to tell their stories through books in a bid to create role models according to a leading publisher in Galway. 

Tribes Press CEO, Marguerite Tonery, said, “we would be very open in publishing a book on the Irish women’s hockey team for example but for a book to be published there must be a market. Many sports role models are male, and the media need to play their part in promoting female role models in order for books to be published,” she said. 

Credit: Robert Machado
Credit: Robert Machado

Coverage of women’s sport in print was 5 per cent in 2019, according to figures released by the 20×20 campaign that brought to light the inequalities women face in sport.

Ms Tonery may start by publishing a book on the Irish women’s hockey team which has created many highlights in recent years such as their dramatic shootout against Canada in Donnybrook that saw the team win a place at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Sales Assistant for Dubray Books in Galway, Patrick, said, “there’s not enough TV coverage of women’s sport to influence publishers. I can say publishers are conservative in the sense that they only want to produce something when they know it’s a guaranteed seller. Katie Taylor’s biography sold very well during the Christmas period in 2012,” he said. 

Professional Irish golfer, Leona Maguire, claims that broadcasters were choosing “not so favorable times for the women’s golf tournaments,” compared to the men’s tournaments.

Senior Executive for Galway City Library, Siobhan Arkins, said, “there’s a lack of autobiographies about Irish female sports stars. I usually see books from sports women that focus on fitness, mental health or cookery. One book called Food for the Fast Lane by Derval O’Rouke is one that we have here. We’d love to see more books on the shelves so our younger readers have role models to look up too,” she said.

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