Communities across the country are hosting events in conjunction with the NGWSD celebration. Even if your event is virtual or if February 7 doesn’t fit your calendar – make sure to post your event today!
NGWSD recognizes student-athletes, champion athletes, coaches, administrators and lawmakers committed to providing equitable access to sports for all girls and women.
Having access to sport has impacted my life because I get to interact with other young women of different age groups. The program teaches us to learn different skills from each other and interacting with older girls is like having big sisters around. None of us are equal until all of us are equal.
Sports made me. I’m fortunate enough to have been surrounded by sports my whole life. This helped me establish a sense of family, discipline, collective goal setting, and made the reward for continuous hard work and dedication tangible. Access unlocks our potential in this space. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t seen powerful head coaches like Kay Yow (basketball) and Cathy Bucky (cheerleading) on the campus of NC State when I was younger, holding the highest positions. It’s because of them that I knew I could. That visibility was essential.
Advocating for gender equity means leveling the playing field and enabling girls and women in sport to realize their fullest potential. We’re great at what we do and it’s time for the world to no longer fear that. We’ve done so amazing with so little; imagine what we’d do with equitable resources, access, visibility and investment.
At just five-years-old Janae is one of the youngest participants in Can Play’s summer program, but you would never know that this is her first time playing sports from her positive attitude and consistent work ethic. She joined Can Play this summer after a couple years watching her older brother, Jeth, play in our year-round sports programming and thought that she would also have fun playing. When asked about her favorite part of playing baseball with Can Play, Janae said “all of practice” and upon further questioning we eventually found out that she really enjoyed batting. For her persistence and being a great teammate, Janae won one of our three good character prizes at the end of this season given to participants who go above and beyond at practice to embody the values our organization teaches. Thanks in part to the support of The Women’s Sports Foundation, young girls like Janae will continue to have access to a variety of sports opportunities through Can Play that might not otherwise be accessible for them and their families.
Sports has always been an outlet for me and has given me the ability to be strong, be competitive and be physical without judgement. I grew up on the fringe of the birth of Title IX and was part of the initial high school statistic of girls in varsity sports. Although access to some sports were restricted when I was younger, I was turned away at the door of little league baseball signups, I continued to pursue athletics and was involved in competitive sports throughout adulthood. I can only speak for myself but I know I was successful in the business sector because of sports and the dynamic lessons learned. Understanding team concepts, how to pivot with adversity, as well as understanding how a long-term process and commitment to high standards could lead to success were all derived from my athletic background. Advocating for gender equity is multi-faceted to me because if we push to have equal opportunity, equal consideration, equal pay, we must also be advocates for equal treatment, equal evaluation and equal hiring/firing in our individual sectors. Entering into male prevalent spaces, I’ve never asked for or expected special treatment and being treated the same as my colleagues has been a win in my opinion. I feel for all of us to be successful we need to do as much as we can to raise the level of our experience and knowledge in direct proportionate degree of advocating for equity. Mentorship, shadow programs, internships are so incredibly important and valuable before trying to broad brush any of us into non typical spaces. Creating a support system and framework, again in my opinion, is equally important if not more so than equity advocating do that once we get there, we have every chance to be successful long term.
Access to sports has provided me athletic, professional, and personal opportunities to pursue and share my journey as a Paralympic Goalball Athlete. In addition, it has provided me the opportunity to act as a role model for blind/visually impaired Moms, Women, and Girls in the disabled community. Advocating for gender equity means there are no unnecessary obstacles to overcome on the road to success.
Sports have impacted my life a lot. I feel like I would not be the same person today without motorsports in my life. I feel like it’s really shaped me as a person, and I feel like I’ve learned some traits just from starting at a young age. I feel like it kind of humbles you fast, I feel like you learn how to take losses and, if you do get knocked down to come back up again. So, I feel like for me, it’s really just instilled really good work ethic and just ambition in me.
I believe all girls and women should have access to sports because I mean, our male counterparts do, so I feel like we deserve that same equal access. Like I said before, I learned so much from sports and it’s instilled so many great traits for me, that I feel like I could carry on beyond sports. I feel like it’s just an important part of life.
For the future of women’s sports, I would like to see more equality and I’d also like to see equal exposure. I feel like a lot of the conversations that we’ve been having today are you know, how do we get that support from brands and sponsors, but we can’t do that without the proper exposure. So, I feel like that’s kind of the root to a lot of the discussions we’ve been talking so I would like to just see us get on those same big platforms and just reach the same audience as males.
Sports have been really important for me, girls and women because they help us stay fit, feel more confident, and challenge the idea that soccer is only for boys. This has helped us become better athletes and gain more equality in different parts of life.
Advocating for gender equality means standing up for fairness and making sure that everyone, no matter their gender, has the same rights, chances, and support. It’s about treating everyone fairly and giving everyone the same opportunities to succeed.
Being involved in sports from a young age has given me so many opportunities that others do not always have the chance to have. I have gone all over the country, been in numerous leadership positions, and met people from different parts of the world. I think my growth in leadership has been one of the biggest things that sports has done and continues to do for me. Standing up for the right thing even when its not popular or doing the hard thing when everyone else wants to take the easy route is something that athletes have to learn quickly to be a great leader. Living this out daily has allowed me to grow strong in my personal values. Advocating for gender equity means fighting for girls and women to have the same opportunities that boys and men have in the sport world. When I was a child we didn’t have girls lacrosse in my area and so the only option was to join the boys league. Lacrosse is a sport that is harder to get access to for some communities so part of me being a coach now is reaching out to the schools and community groups to give young girls the chance to learn a new sport and having my current college athletes help with it. This allows them to also help encourage and show the next generation of female athletes that they can do it.
Use this form to download free resources designed to help you plan, organize, promote and host your own NGWSD activities. Please contact Morgan Powell at MPowell@WomensSportsFoundation.org with any questions.
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On May 2, 2024 – the Women’s Sports Foundation will be 50. We invite you to join us in the yearlong celebration as we reflect on our journey and impact, while also looking forward to the work ahead.Learn More >>