Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Women’s Sports Foundation!
With Thanksgiving just two days away, many people – like us – are reflecting on their blessings and what they are thankful for this holiday season. From the 40th anniversary of Title IX to 2012 being heralded as the “Year of the Woman,” we have a lot on our list this year:
1. June 23, 2012: the 40th Anniversary of Title IX. With celebrations all across the country, the 40th birthday of the 1972 landmark legislation brought renewed attention to all the progress made in the past four decades toward equity in sports …and all the progress still left to be done.
2. Female athletes dominated the London Olympic and Paralympic Games: The media and public heralded 2012 as “The Year of the Women,” with the women of Team USA accounting for 58% of the total American Olympic medal haul and winning more gold medals than their male counterparts for the first time. Standout performances by Gabby Douglas, Alex Morgan (winners of our 2012 Sportswoman of the Year award), Missy Franklin, the U.S. women’s basketball team and many more put women athletes in the Olympic forefront.
3. Team WSF takes London by storm: With 31 grantees from WSF grant programs the Travel & Training Fund and the Rusty Kanokogi Grant, we were well-represented in London by Team WSF. Kayla Harrison, a 2009 Rusty Kanokogi Grant winner, took home the first judo gold by any American judoko or judoka in history. The U.S. women’s water polo team, to whom we gave our Travel & Training fund grant in 2010, also won its first-ever gold.
Two weeks later at the Paralympic games, Mallory Weggemann, 2011 Travel & Training grantee, won gold in the 50-meter freestyle. Muffy Davis completed her golden trifecta, winning golds in all three of her cycling events. We couldn’t be more thankful that we were able to play a small role in these amazing athletes’ dreams.
4. The launching of our Keep Her in the Game campaign exposed millions to the staggering statistic that, by age 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate boys are. From television PSAs to print ads, to participation on social media from hundreds of athletes and big-time celebrities alike, our Keep Her in the Game campaign riled our troops in support of every girl reaching her full potential. Thank you to everyone who helped us spread the word!
5. Support from WSF Partners: We are so thankful for the generous support from our friends at Gatorade, who through our partnership with the Travel & Training Fund, helped us fuel the dreams of 23 individual athletes and three teams in 2012. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this class of Travel & Training athletes. And thanks to espnW and Disney, whose commitment to women’s sports and the magic of healthy living only strengthens our mission and message.
6. Support from WSF Friends and Family: We couldn’t do what we do without the generosity of our friends and donors. Most importantly, thank you for visiting our website, engaging with us on Twitter and Facebook, reading our emails and giving your hard-earned money to our important cause. Every girl we serve thanks you.
Finally….don’t forget to get out and move with your family after your meal is over and the dishes are done! There is nothing better to ward off turkey-induced slumber than a walk around the neighborhood or a friendly game of soccer in the front yard. Happy Thanksgiving, all!