Although Title IX has been in place since 1972, in 2010 girls still must find a response to the question, “What are the benefits of girls playing sports?” Interestingly, you don’t hear boys being asked the same question very often.
The Vision 2020 staff had many positive experiences to share from playing sports:
One staff member said though she didn’t play sports growing up, she had several close friends who did and those girls all shared similar traits: they were competitive, not afraid to speak up and were leaders.
Another staff member who ran track and played volleyball said, “Sports teaches camaraderie, teamwork, how to set and reach goals and follow-through.” It teaches you not to give up easily.
“You learn perseverance, time-management and team spirit,” noted a Vision 2020 staffer who skied, played field hockey, took part in competitive sailing and also was a runner.
“I was on the first girls’ track team at my school. We had to petition the school board to allow the team. It made a world of difference to be on a team during teenage years,” said a staff member who earned a partial athletic scholarship. “Sports are critical to gaining self-confidence,” she said.
Another staffer said that sports also teach self-sacrifice. “Spending all those hours after school and on weekends practicing and playing in games takes away from your social life outside of school. Being on the team allows you to prioritize your life at a young age,” she said.
How can you ensure girls have access to take part in sports? The National Women’s Law Center, a Vision 2020 National Ally, is a great resource : http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/education-%2526-title-ix
You can also speak with the Title IX coordinator in your school district and by simply speaking up for the importance of girls’ teams.