My nearly 8-year-old daughter plays softball, soccer, and basketball. She comes by her love of sports honestly: from her dad. Since she was old enough to clutch a ball, they’ve been outside together throwing, kicking, hitting and pitching.
My husband is the kind of dad who continues to make Title IX and all of its strides possible. But naturally, dads are only a piece of the puzzle.
This week’s Sports Illustrated is dedicated to the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, part of the Educations Amendments of 1972 that reads, in part, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance….”
While reading the SI articles, I learned in the time since Title IX took effect, the number of girls in high school sports has improved dramatically from 294 thousand to more than 3 million last year. Studies say that girls who participate in sports are more likely to graduate, have higher confidence levels and are less likely to fall victim to obesity, suicide, and drugs.
I’ll confess to tearing up as I read. I’m amazed at how far women in sports have come….and how many roadblocks have stood in their way. I’m overjoyed my daughter has the opportunites she does… and the role models. She has never known a world where ‘athlete’ and ‘girl’ haven’t been used in the same sentence.
But there is still room for improvement….
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