Yesterday was National Girls & Women in Sports Day.
Social media platforms were bombarded with posts from athletes, shoe / clothing companies, & athletic departments across the country calling out the gender inequalities in sports but my biggest fear is that just a day later, people will forget about the disparity between men’s and women’s sports.
It’s been almost 50 years since Title IX went into effect and yet today opportunities, funding, access to coaching, scholarship money for girls and women is lagging behind at alarming rates.
Let these facts set in.
I was in 4th grade when I begged my parents to let me join wrestling. The only sport option for girls my age at that time was basketball but with 30+ 4th grader girls wanting to play, I wanted to do something else. A girl in wrestling was not okay. So I sat on the bench and played a few minutes of a basketball game instead.
I was a junior in high school when a boy, at this point he was in college, admitted to me that he never asked me on a date because I was “so intimidating” …oh yeah, the entire 90 lbs of me was really scary back then. Now I understand that I was “intimidating” because I was competitive in my athletics and academics.
I was being recruited to run in college and honestly only remember talking to TWO female coaches the entire time (shoutout to Jill Miller — I believe she was the coach from Brown that called me on my way to basketball camp. I hung up the phone and had to Google where Brown University was). I took 5 official visits and there was not a single female head coach at any of those schools. At that time, it didn’t seem odd but now as a female on the other side of the recruiting call, it’s an issue.
I need to be better. I need to be a better advocate for girls in sports. One day I hope to have a daughter and never want her to lack the opportunities that so many girls lack at this moment. I need to be a better role model every single day. Lets not forget these issues for another year. We can all take small steps to help change the future of female sports. Today I took the Equity Project Pledge via Women’s Sports Foundation. PLEASE take a few minutes out of your day to read this summary!