“Sugar and spice and everything nice…
That’s what little girls are made of.”
And then came Title IX.
Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 was the first comprehensive federal law to ban sex discrimination in the schools, in academics as well as athletics. Today, one in three high school girls plays sports, a ratio which we’d love to see improve given the enormous health and social benefits that athletic participation offers girls, including:
- Better grades and overall school performance
- Lower drop-out rates
- Exposure to social virtues including team work, respect, commitment and leadership skills
- Development of higher level organizational skills including time budgeting, goal setting and priorities management
- Improved psychological and emotional health, including strong self-esteem and self-confidence, as well as lower rates of depression and risk of suicide
- The ability to cope in stressful situations and accept responsibility
- Markedly better physical health, including low rates of obesity and stronger immune systems
- Decreased drug and alcohol abuse and teen pregnancy
The long-range benefits of athletic participation among girls and young women are impressive as well. Women who played sports when young are less susceptible to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that they also achieve higher levels of education as well as income – in fact, 80% of key women in Fortune 500 companies played youth sports. Athletic involvement among girls also provides a foundation for life-long physical activity and sustained well-being.
Debby and I have many fond memories of playing sports when we were young and take great pleasure in encouraging today’s young girls and women to “carry the torch,” so to speak, and enjoy the many benefits of sports participation today. February is National Girls in Sports Month and this Saturday, February 25 we’ll be marking the 40 year anniversary of Title IX’s passing at Colorado Girls in Sports Day. Join us for a day of celebration and play:
Colorado Girls in Sports Day
Saturday, February 25, 2012
University of Colorado at Boulder
Student Recreation Center
For more information, call or email Patty McConnell at 303-492-7206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d also love to hear from you! Did you play sports as a child? Tell us about your experiences and memories. What sports did you play? How did you get started? Were your experiences beneficial? Tell us about it by clicking on the comments link at the top of this post.