Laura Robinson

Journalist and author

Laura Robinson _Søndergaard

Degrees and Scholarships:
University of Western Ontario - Social Science BA

Canadian Olympic Academy (Annual week long school that studies issues and philosophy of sport).

International Olympic Academy (Three-week long school that studies issues and philosophy of sport. Four Canadians are selected annually to attend).

Scholarship to the Banff Centre of the Arts, Cultural Journalism Programme, 1995

Markin Flanagan Distinguished Writer¹s Programme; Writer in Residence, University of Calgary 2000 2001.

Journalist in Residence, Green College, University of British Columbia, fall semester 2004

Honourary Doctorate of Laws, conferred by York University, Health Faculty, June 2012

Career History 1990 to Present:
Freelance journalist in electronic and print media: Regular contributor to the Commentary Page, Books Section, Travel Section, The Globe and Mail,  The Ottawa Citizen and The Winnipeg Free Press. Bi weekly sports columnist, NOW Magazine 1994 95. Contributor to Ms. Magazine, Explore Magazine, Canadian Living, Saturday Night, Calgary Herald, Toronto Life, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian Forum, Chatelaine, The Village Voice, The Georgia and Calgary Straight, The Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish Daily), Alberta Views, Abroad, Olympic Review, Literary Review Canada.

Cyclist Bike List: The Book For Every Rider: Spring 2010, McClelland and Stewart (Tundra Books), Toronto.

Nigaanibatowaad:FrontRunners A Play in Two Acts, (Port Elgin, ON, Brucedale Press, 2008).

Great Girls:Profiles of Awesome Canadian Athletes (Toronto: Harper-Collins, 2004) Black Tights: Women, Sport and Sexuality. (Toronto: Harper Collins, 2002)

Crossing the Line: Violence and Sexual Assault in Canada’s National Sport. (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1998)

She Shoots, She Scores: Canadian Perspectives on Women in Sport. (Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing, 1997)

Also included in several Canadian anthologies, including Why Are You Telling Me This? Banff Centre Press, 1997, “Taking Sport Seriously: Social Issues in Canadian Sport”, Thompson Educational Publishing, 1997, “Second Chapter: The Canadain Writers Photography Project”, Banff Centre Press 2004, Making the Team, Canadian Scholars Press, 2004, “Clear Writing: Readings in Expository Prose”, Broadview Press, 2007, “Voices in the Hall”, McGraw-Hill, 2012, “Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activism” University of Ottawa Press, 2012, “Playing it Forward: Fifty Years of Women in Sport in Canada” Feminist History Series, 2013.

Electronic Media:       
Writer/Researcher for the following media outlets:
CBC Radio Sports, CBC Radio Infotape, CBC Radio Morningside, CBC TV, the fifth estate, Prime Time News, Adrienne Clarkson Presents, TSN Inside Sports, National Film Board: Baseball Girls, The Game of Her Life.
Co producer, Director, and Writer:
Vision TV three-part documentary series for Skylight entitled “Sport’s Unlevel Playing Field”

Co-produced, wrote, and directed Torchrunners: A documentary on ten Indigenous runners in Manitoba with Buffalo Gal Pictures Inc.

Writer, co-producer “Niigaanibatowaad:FrontRunners” film for APTN. This is a filmed version of my FrontRunners play. Won “Best Short Live Film” at the American Indian Film Festival, November 2008, San Francisco.

Screened: Festivals across Canada and on December 10, 2009,  at Indianer Inuit North American Native Film Festival, Stuttgart, Germany.

Journalism Awards/Recognitions:
Reprint of “Breaking the Pink Ribbon Syndrome” from the Globe and Mail Commentary Page (Aug. 18, 1990) in World Press Review Magazine, January 1991

Awarded Robertine Barry Prize for English language print medium by the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) for “Starving for the Gold” (April 8, 1992, Globe and Mail Focus Section) on women athletes and eating disorders.

IRE Award (Investigative Researchers and Editors Award) from the United States (top North American award for investigative journalism) for Crossing the Line, documentary produced with the Fifth Estate CBC Television, on sexual abuse of female athletes by male coaches. Documentary broke a ten year ratings record.

Essay used by the Ontario Ministry of Education for province wide testing for grade nine students. Originally published as The Unsinkable Silken Laumann, May 25, 1992, Commentary Page, The Toronto Star.

Cultural Journalism Scholarship: The Banff Centre for the Arts.

Crossing the Line: Violence and Sexual Assault in Canada¹s National Sport selected by University of Windsor as winner of the Human Kinetics Faculty Book Award.

Delivered “Donald Macintosh Memorial Lecture” for the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, based on research from Crossing the Line.

Markin Flanagan Writer’s Residency, University of Calgary, as part of the Distinguished Writers Programme.

Winter Writer in Residence, Bishop Strachan School, Toronto.

Play The Game Award, for best research and writing at Play The Game: 3rd Conference For Media Professionals In A Globalized Sport World, Copenhagen, Denmark. Also delivered conference keynote address on sexual violence in hockey.

Journalist in Residence, Green College, University of British Columbia, fall semester.

FrontRunners tours Southern Ontario and Scandinavia, sponsored by the United Church of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, Dept. of Foreign Affairs, and Scandinavian cultural and Sami organizations. (Tour includes York University).

FrontRunners performed at the 39th General Council of the United Church of Canada, Thunder Bay.   

Chaired first international panel on violence against children in sport, Reykjavik, Iceland, Play the Game Conference

Adapted FrontRunners to screenplay, “Niigaanibatowaad:FrontRunners for APTN. Nigaanibatowaad: FrontRunners. Film also wins Best Live Short, American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, 2008. Also screens at North American Society for the Sociology of Sport conference, Denver, CO.

Nigaanibatowaad:FrontRunners chosen for Indianer Inuit North American Native Film Festival, Stuttgart, Germany, largest Aboriginal film festival in Canada. Will be a panelist in film discussions.

Delivered lecture for University of British Columbia series, “Olympic  Myths and Realities” on Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games on “Freedom of Expression and the Olympics.”

Debewin Award (Truth in Ojibwe) from Anishinabek Nation for long-time coverage of Aboriginal issues.

Delivered “Women, Human Rights and the Olympics” key-note, Capilano University, March 11, International Women’s Week.

Woman of Distinction Award for Grey and Bruce Counties.

Silver medalist “ Book of the Year Award” in Juvenile Non-Fiction category at the American Library Association congress, New Orleans for “Cyclist BikeList: The Book For Every Rider.”

Major Games Coverage:

North American Indigenous Games, Prince Albert, Sask.
Canada Games, Kamloops, B.C.
Student World Games, Buffalo, NY.
Arctic Winter Games, Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta.

Commonwealth Games, Victoria, B.C.
Women’s Tour de France, France

Atlanta Olympics, Atlanta, GA.

North American Indigenous Games, Victoria B.C.

Pan Am Games, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Arctic Circle Race, Sisimuit, Greenland
Birkebeinerretit Race, Lillehammer, Norway

Sydney Olympics, Sydney, Australia

North American Indigenous Games, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Athens Olympics, Greece
World Cup of Nordic Skiing, Canmore, Alberta

World Cup of Nordic Skiing, Canmore Alberta
Beijing Olympics, Beijing, China

Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

World Nordic Ski Championships, Oslo, Norway
Royal Palace World Cup Sprints, Stockholm, Sweden

London Olympics

Guest Lecturer/Visiting Scholar:

  • Alberta Institute of Art and Design, Calgary
  • Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta
  • Brock University, St. Catherine’s, Ontario
  • Capilano University, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Carleton University, Ottawa
  • Concordia University, Montreal
  • Danish School of Journalism, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Danish University for Sport, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Douglas College, Vancouver
  • Gloucester Cheltenham College of Higher Education, Britain
  • Queen¹s University, Kingston
  • Laurentian University, Sudbury Ontario
  • Mount Royal College, Calgary
  • Norwegian University of Sport, Oslo
  • Red Deer College, Red Deer
  • Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Toronto
  • SAIT: Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary
  • Seneca College, Toronto
  • Sheffield-Hallom University, Sheffield, England
  • Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
  • Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener Waterloo
  • St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Tufts University, Boston Mass.
  • University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • University of Brighton, Britain
  • University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Calgary, Calgary
  • University of Coventry, England
  • University of Guelph, Guelph
  • University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  • University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge
  • University of Manitoba, Manitoba
  • University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • University of Ottawa, Ontario
  • University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
  • University of Western Ontario, London
  • University of Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • University of Toronto, Toronto
  • University of Windsor, Windsor
  • York University, Toronto


  • Ontario Cycling Team: 1976 77, 1982 83
  • Sixth, Canadian Road Cycling Championships 1976
  • Canadian Cycling Team: 1982 83
  • Fourth Canadian Cycling Championships 1982
  • Ontario Cycling Champion: 1975, 1976, 1981
  • Bronze medalist, Senior Women’s Ontario Nordic Ski Championships 1977
  • Ontario and Canadian Rowing Champion (Women’s pair) 1979.
  • Gold medalist Master’s Women’s Ontario Nordic Ski Championships 1999
  • Gold medalist Master’s Women Arctic Circle 155 km, 3-day Nordic Ski Race, Sisumuit, Greenland 1999
  • Three times winner, Lake Louise-Banff Ski Loppet (68 km) 1999-2003.
  • Overall winner (men and women) of the Kupesewin Nordic Ski Race, 2-day Nordic ski race, La Ronge, SK 2003
  • Bronze medalist Master’s Canadian Rowing Championships, mixed eight, 2002
  • Bronze medalist, Master’s Canadian Rowing Championships, mixed quad 2003
  • Silver medalist, Master’s Canadian Rowing Championships, women’s double 2003
  • Silver medal in age class, Centurion 80 km road ride, Collingwood, ON, 2010
  • Gold medalist Ontario Master’s Cross-country ski Championships, Hepworth, ON 2013
  • Volunteer coach in mountain biking and Nordic skiing at Cape Croker First Nation Elementary School, Chippewa of Nawash First Nation, and Saugeen First Nation, Ontario 1991-2012
  • Recipient of the Cum Laude Award from the Southern Ontario Ski Division for years of contribution to the sport, 2006.
  • Recipient of Chief and Council Award for coaching young person to Ontario Championship in cycling and Nordic Skiing, 2005
  • Recipient of Nawash Health Centre’s Addictions Preventions Office award, 2007.
  • Recipient of Nawash Social Services volunteer award at Chief’s Feast, 2008.
  • Recipient of the Grey and Bruce Counties Woman of Distinction Award, 2010.

Still like to compete in cycling, Nordic skiing, rowing and running event.

Presentations at Play the Game conferences:
Sporting sexuality: The glorification of hockey and violence against women - Play the Game 2011

Can’t Get No Satisfaction: The IOC, Women and the Olympics - Play the Game 2009

Update on Canadian Hockey Abuse Scandal - Play the Game 2005

Play the Game

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