84 episodes

On Social Sport, Emma Zimmerman features conversations with endurance athletes of all types committed to fostering social change. The athletes she speaks with are climate change activists, mental health advocates, and promoters of more inclusive outdoor spaces. Through Social Sport, she shares the stories and thoughts of people who explore the connection between sport and activism in their lives. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

Social Sport Emma Zimmerman

    • Sports
    • 5.0 • 32 Ratings

On Social Sport, Emma Zimmerman features conversations with endurance athletes of all types committed to fostering social change. The athletes she speaks with are climate change activists, mental health advocates, and promoters of more inclusive outdoor spaces. Through Social Sport, she shares the stories and thoughts of people who explore the connection between sport and activism in their lives. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    #81 - Caela Fenton on media representations of women distance runners

    #81 - Caela Fenton on media representations of women distance runners

    Caela Fenton is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Oregon. Her research lies primarily in cultural studies of sport, utilizing feminist approaches to consider gender equity in sport industry, as well as digital iterations of physical culture. Her academic work has appeared in The International Journal of the History of Sport, Narrative, and Aethlon. Her journalistic work has appeared in Canadian Running Magazine, iRun, and The XC. Most recently, she served on the communications team at the US Olympic Track and Field Trials. In this episode, we discuss social media as it relates to professional athletics, gendered expectations, and capitalism. We also discuss representations of women distance runners throughout time and in various forms of media. Caela blows Emma's mind multiple times, and she will likely blow your mind, too! 

    Discussed in this episode:

    --Running, Identity, and Meaning by Neil Baxter

    --Athlete identity crises

    --Perdita Felicien 

    --Sarah Banet-Weiser and brand culture

    --Women runners and self-representation over Instagram

    --Fetishization of female runners’ bodies

    --Heather Caplan on Social Sport

    --Colleen Quigley's Instagram post on pulling out of Olympic Trials

    --Allie Ostrander's video on beginning eating disorder treatment

    --Postfeminism

    --Once a Runner by John L. Parker

    --"Why I Loathe Once a Runner," Caela's article in Canadian Running

    --Late Air by Jaclyn Gilbert

    --Inadequate representation of Black women runners

    --"Jogging Has Always Excluded Black People," but Natalia Mehlman Petrzela for NYTimes

    --Risa Isard on Social Sport

    --"Hayward Magic in the Era of Globalized Sport Culture"

    --Coach Tom Heinonen

    --The Passage series

    Follow Caela: Twitter, Instagram

    Follow Social Sport: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    • 1 hr 5 min
    #80 - Tom O'Keefe on Stride for Stride and making road races more diverse and accessible

    #80 - Tom O'Keefe on Stride for Stride and making road races more diverse and accessible

    Tom O'Keefe is a social impact entrepreneur, and the founder of Stride for Stride, Heart to Cart, and Bostontweet. 

    Stride for Stride is a non-profit running organization that buys race bibs for immigrant, BIPOC, and low-income runners. Their goal is to make races more accessible and more diverse. Tom started Stride for Stride in 2018 after struggling to pay for race bibs and observing that most races lacked diversity - his assumption was that this was due, in part, to the high cost of entry. Since 2018, Stride for Stride has grown to over 60 avid runners from over a dozen countries. They compete in everything from marathons to 5Ks, and even a 50-mile Ultra. All but two of their runners are immigrants representing the following countries; Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Nigeria, and the United States, as well as Puerto Rico. 

    Discussed in this episode:

    --Boston globe article on Bostontweet

    --Story of how Tom met his wife

    --Rosie's Place

    --Sid Baptista of PIONEERS Run Crew on Social Sport

    --Black Men Run

    --Black Girls Run

    --Latinos Run

    --Dominican Runners, NYC

    --Heart to Cart

    --Impact Video Group

    --Donate here or text STRIDE to 44321

    Quotes:

    --“Races are the only sport where you’re running with the best of the best—the professionals, like Meb and Shalane. There is no other sport where you’re competing with them; you can’t play football with Tom Brady. The same thing goes for wage inequity. A CEO makes 258 times what the average employee makes, which is awful, but if those two guys run the same race, the employee could beat the CEO. How empowering is that?”

    --“When you finish a race, you’re high-fiving everyone. That’s all you care about—that you ran. You’re just so happy for yourself and for everyone else. Nothing else matters at that point. You’re not thinking about politics or how much money you made…It changed my life, and I think it can change so many others.”

    Follow Tom: Twitter, Instagram

    Follow Stride for Stride: Twitter, Instagram

    Follow Social Sport: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    • 55 min
    #79 - Risa Isard on the limits of Title IX and an intersectional approach to equity in sports

    #79 - Risa Isard on the limits of Title IX and an intersectional approach to equity in sports

    Risa Isard is a sports industry veteran and policy expert. She specializes in advancing equity with and for girls and women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and others in and through sport. Her career in the sports industry spans professional and college sports, sports policy, and nonprofit thought leadership. She has developed partnerships with professional ninja athletes, hosted Billie Jean King in an on-stage conversation, directed the premier national event for increasing access to youth sports, co-authored and edited foundational research reports, established community-based partnerships to support sport leaders across the country, launched a first-of-its-kind online portal for community leaders, founded a farmer’s market at professional baseball games, run a baseball league for people with special needs, hosted a celebrity soccer challenge, authored fortune cookies, and more. She is the former associate director of thought leadership for national nonprofit KABOOM!, former project director for the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, and former community relations coordinator for a minor league baseball team. She’s also been on staff at Brandi Chastain’s nonprofit organization, Duke University women’s basketball, and the Phoenix Mercury. Risa has presented at South by Southwest (SXSW), Spotlight: Health at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Surgeon General’s Innovation Summit, the University of Pennsylvania's Law School Sports Symposium, the North American Society for Sport Management, and elsewhere. She has written for Sports Business Journal, AdWeek, Global Sport Matters, Quartz, espnW and elsewhere. Risa graduated cum laude from Duke with a specialized degree in “Social Change at the Intersection of Culture, Gender, and Sports,” simultaneously receiving honors for her original research thesis on the pre-history and early years of Title IX (1969-1975). A long-time advocate of using sports for social change, Risa is a Research Fellow in the Laboratory for Inclusion and Diversity in Sport at UMass, where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sport Management from the Isenberg School of Management. 

    Quotes:

    --“This is definitely not sport-specific. Racial bias has long been documented in men’s sports. There is less documentation, but no less convincing evidence, that it happens in women's sports as well. It can manifests in a number of different ways. It can be about the attention athletes get, it can be about the kind of attention they get, and it can be about the language we use when we talk about athletes...Absolutely, racial bias is pervasive in and across sports, and in women’s sports."

    --“Title IX has fixed things unequally when it comes to girls. Title IX has been excellent for white, middle-upper class girls like me. It has been a lot less effective at creating equity for Black girls, Latinx girls, girls of color broadly, and girls from low income communities. The gender gaps that exist in some communities are still quite pervasive…Title IX, at its best, ought to create a more equitable society for all girls, and it hasn’t done that yet.”

    Follow Risa on Twitter: @RisaLovesSports

    Follow Social Sport: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    • 53 min
    #78 - Tiara Williams on Real Talk, changing track and field media, and centering mental health

    #78 - Tiara Williams on Real Talk, changing track and field media, and centering mental health

    Tiara Williams is a former, Division I Texas Tech heptathlete and a track and field reporter. She was inspired to start the platform Real Talk in January of 2019 because she wanted to gain experience toward her dream career in sports broadcasting. She began to showcase track and field athletes in video interview segments, focusing not just on who they are as athletes, but also on who they are as people. In this episode, Tiara shares about her own struggles with mental health and why she values asking athletes about their mental health. Tiara also speaks candidly about changes she wants to see in track and field, what it means to be a young Black woman in sports broadcasting, and what she represents for Black girls who aspire to similar careers. 

    Discussed in this episode:

    --Tiara’s interview with Sha’Carri Richardson

    --Connecting with athletes as real people

    --Watching family members struggle with addiction

    --Sports as an outlet for family struggles 

    --Heptathlon

    --Tiara's Texas Tech career

    --Power dynamics in track and field reporting

    --Asking athletes about mental health

    --Post-college mental health struggles

    --The connection between money and mental health

    --The Magic Boost program

    Quotes:

    --“It means everything to me to be creative. It means everything. It means everything to know that young Black women are looking up to me. Young, high school Black girls are always in my DMs saying, ‘I want to be a sports broadcaster.’ It means everything to know that I am setting the standard that they will look up to.” -Tiara Williams

    --“I like to ask athletes about mental health because we all deal with it. But we all cope with it in different ways. And you never know, your coping mechanism could help someone eles…we can all help each other.” -Tiara Williams

    Follow Tiara on Intagram

    Follow Real Talk on Instagram, Youtube 


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    • 45 min
    #77 - Joanne "Coach P" McCallie: de-stigmatizing mental health is an endurance sport

    #77 - Joanne "Coach P" McCallie: de-stigmatizing mental health is an endurance sport

    Joanne P. McCallie ("Coach P") is a Mental Health Advocate and Hall of Fame DI basketball coach. With over 600 wins, she has coached at Maine, Michigan State, and Duke, earning National Coach of the Year in 2005. Coach P was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at age 30. After learning how to manage her mental health and continue winning as a coach, she decided to become a mental health advocate and speaker, sharing her story to inspire and educate others on how to "win without losing yourself." Through Coach P’s high energy speeches and leadership seminars, she engages, educates and inspires organizations with discussions on mental health, sports, faith, and leadership.

    Even though Coach P's past lies in basketball, her recent work is applicable to athletes in all sports. In this episode, like any great coach, she challenges us to think about mental health in unique ways. At the same time, she allows Emma to challenge her and ask difficult questions regarding her tenure in coaching and the accessibility of mental health resources. Her willingness to continue being challenged, while challenging and coaching others, reinforces her forever title: Coach P for Life!

    Discussed in this episode:

    --Coach P's decision to keep her diagnosis a secret

    --Balancing a high-power career with mental health

    --Stepping away from coaching

    --Gender disparity in coaching contracts

    --Duke Fuqua School of Business

    --Secret Warrior book

    --"Mental health impairment" vs "mental illness"

    --Effect of athletes speaking more about their mental health (eg. Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles) 

    --Bipolar disorder misconceptions

    --Coach P's response to allegations of player mistreatment

    --“Mental health impairments” and creativity

    --Inaccessibility of mental health resources

    --Race and ethnicity disparities in mental health resources

    --Bosch TV series

    --Ted Lasso TV series

    --The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

    Quotes:

    --“I’m into life and death now. Before it was wins and losses. This is a whole different ball game.” -Joanne P. McCallie

    --“Sport communicates so many items that you can’t communicate in any other place—the inspiration, the work ethic, the talent of it, the craft of it…” -Joanne P. McCallie

    --“We’ve got to look for life to be not what it is, but what it can be. What can life be? How good can it be?” -Joanne P. McCallie

    --Follow Coach P: Website, Instagram, Twitter

    --Follow Social Sport: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter 

    --Subscribe to the Social Sport Newsletter


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    • 50 min
    #76 - Lindsley Kump, founder of Womxn Who Move, on finding joy and inclusion in sport

    #76 - Lindsley Kump, founder of Womxn Who Move, on finding joy and inclusion in sport

    Lindsley Kump is a mama, wife, fur baby mom, field event marketing manager, trail runner, and the founder of Womxn Who Move. Originally from Hawaii, she has called Colorado home for 18 years now. Road running has been a key part of her life for almost 7 years now, and over the last year, she has transitioned into trail running. It's where her heart is; she finds she is happiest in nature and on the trails. With that being said, she believes a lot needs to change within the trail running community to be more diverse and inclusive for BIPOC runners.

    In 2021, she started a new, all-inclusive community called Womxn_Who_Move, dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and inspiring womxn through movement.

    Discussed in this episode:

    --TransRockies Run

    --Article on Carolyn Su at TransRockies Run

    --Carolyn Su on Social Sport

    --Womxn who Move and finding joy in movement

    --Meg Flanagan on Social Sport

    --Striking balance between building a platform and protecting your mental health

    --Lindsley’s mantra: “be the energy”

    --Safety for BIPOC trail runners, discussed by Lindsley in this Trail Runner article

    --Moun10 Ultra

    -Chasing joy in career changes

    Quotes:

    --“Fear, fear of not being seen and fear for my own safety, is a factor whenever I go out for a run. I’m always going to be fearful, but I try not to let that stop me from doing something. If you feel that joy, if trail running or hiking or anything brings you that joy, try to remember that. Try to remember how it makes you feel in that moment, to help you move past the fear.” -Lindsley Kump

    --“Life really really is short. Don’t take things for granted. For a long time, I have been very comfortable and have taken a lot of things for granted. It made me realize that I needed to start pushing past my comfort zone and speaking up for things that were not right… I needed to start using my voice the best that I possibly could to stand up for things that were not okay, and I needed to start doing the things that I was passionate about.” -Lindsley Kump

    Follow Lindsley on Instagram

    Follow Womxn Who Move on Instagram

    Follow Social Sport: Website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter 

    Subscribe to the Social Sport Newsletter


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/socialsport/support

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
32 Ratings

32 Ratings

kristendoornbos ,

Should be Required Listening for Runners

I’m so glad to have found this podcast! I learn so much from the guests, and Emma does a great job of asking the meaningful questions. Almost any social topic in the running world, you can find an episode discussing it in a way that is helpful, positive, and aimed at creating change in the running community.

Nathan RB ,

Speaks to the intersections

As humans and athletes, we don’t live one-dimensional lives but rather exist in communities and ecosystems. On Social Sport, Emma does an excellent job drawing this out. Her guests are impressive and knowledgeable yet relatable, and Emma is a skilled interviewer. I am glad for a podcast that speaks to the many important intersections of athletics and activism.

Saqu7777777 ,

All around great podcast 👍

I’ve been really loving Social Sport lately! Emma’s a really talented interviewer and I always love the guests she has on and the topics they cover. Would definitely recommend for someone who’s interested in social justice, endurance sports, or both!

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