Do you know what today is? It’s the first Wednesday in February — which means it is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a day to honor the athletic successes of women and girls in your community.
In fact, it’s the 27th annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.This year’s theme: “Girls in Sports, An Investment in the Future.”
When Title IX passed in 1972, just one out of 25 girls played high school sports. Today it’s one in three. If you’re a woman under the age of 40, there’s a good chance you played sports when you were a kid. Whether you ran cross-country, played tennis or soccer, or were on a swim or gymnastics team, you benefited on a myriad of levels. Sports may have increased your confidence, willingness to compete and take risks in life.
If you’re the mother of a daughter, there’s a good chance your child is enrolled in soccer, or basketball, or baseball or some other sport at the local park or gym. Forty years ago, those teams were almost exclusively made up of boys. There was no equality when it came to sports participation. Can you imagine what it would be like if your daughter didn’t have the same opportunities as your son when it came to playing sports?
Although Title IX has been successful on many levels, it is clear that there is still work to be done. The NAGWS states on their website “Despite the stunning advances made in the 40 years since Title IX was enacted, high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than do boys, and evidence suggests that the money spent on girls’ sports programs lags significantly behind the money spent on boys’ programs.”
We must continue to provide real opportunities for women.
“Investing in women and girls is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing too.” – Hillary Clinton
Here are a few things YOU can do today to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
- Take a girl to a game to share your love of women’s sports with her this week. Just because you may not hear about these events (due to a chronic lack of coverage of women’s events) doesn’t mean they do not exist. Pro and semi-pro leagues, colleges, high schools, and club leagues are all competing.
- Commemorate the occasion by writing a blog post and sharing stories about how Title IX has benefited you or the lives of others you know. What have sports meant to you or a girl you know? Tweet it with the hashtag #NGWSD!
- Around the country sports educators, coaches, athletic directors, recreation directors, students, and parents have created interactive events to raise the profile of women in sport. Find an event in your neighborhood and get involved.
Whether you attend a NGWSD event today, play a game of pick-up basketball or a round of golf, share your love of sports with girls in your life. Let’s help more girls play!