The Women’s Athletic Committee and Women’s Athletic Alumnae
For as long as women at Western have participated in athletics, they have voiced their interests about the development of athletic programs at the university. As early as 1922, women served on the Athletic Directorate. In 1923, the Women’s Athletic Committee (WAC) formed, giving women control over their own activities, and the athletic fees paid by female students. Mandated to “encourage and promote athletic activities among women” at the university, the WAC became responsible for women’s intramural, inter-Western and inter-collegiate competitions. In the early period, this also included the running of the physical education and sports days from which so many sports later played at the intercollegiate level found their beginnings.
In 1983, women felt the need for a renewed WAC, one that would address the current state of athletics at Western. The updated WAC established in that year had evolved from an organization that sought control over the growth and development of women’s athletics into one that was directed at celebrating the achievements of a long established tradition of women’s athletics at Western. The new WAC encouraged support for women’s teams among the student body, media attention and coverage of women’s athletic events, and representation of women’s achievements in sport in the establishment of permanent trophy displays and athletic awards.
In 1987, the Women’s Athletics Alumnae (WAA) formed as a volunteer association of former athletes, coaches and supporting administrators to recognize the contribution of women’s athletics to the university. The WAA continues to encourage and support women’s athletics at Western today with banquets, special events, the Inbounds newsletter, and the WAA Award which is presented to former athletes, coaches and others who are recognized for exceptional contributions to Western’s athletic programs.