WASHINGTON (February 5, 2020) —Led by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), a coalition of champion WSF Athlete Ambassadors, advocates and girls from WSF’s community programs, will unite today on Capitol Hill to celebrate the 34th Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). The nationwide observance recognizes the importance of equal opportunities in sport for girls and women. Across the country, hundreds of NGWSD events – organized by community programs, schools and professional teams – will be taking place today, and throughout 2020.
This year’s NGWSD comes just weeks after WSF released its new national research report, Chasing Equity: The Triumphs, Challenges and Opportunities in Sports for Girls and Women, and with it, launched The Equity Project, a bold, multi-year initiative designed to reach new heights in the fight for gender equity in sport. Both the report and The Equity Project build on WSF’s rich history of protecting Title IX and promoting gender equity for girls and women in sports.
The new research paints a comprehensive picture of the sports landscape for girls and women while tying in important calls to action on how to improve the space. It also emphasizes the need for galvanizing events such as NGWSD, which call attention to the lifelong benefits of sport participation for girls and women, and inequities that still exist.
“We have seen tremendous strides in girls’ and women’s sports in the 34 years since NGWSD began, and the potential to do more and have an even greater impact is palpable,” said WSF CEO, Deborah Antoine. “What better time than the start of a new decade to keep equity in sport front and center. Sports provides lifelong benefits – health, mastery, leadership, confidence – all tremendously vital skills and attributes. As the ally, advocate and catalyst for girls and women in sports, the Women’s Sports Foundation is driven and determined to continue leading her forward – in sport and in life.”
The WSF contingent will start the day meeting with government leaders in both the House and Senate to discuss findings from the Chasing Equity Report, and the ways in which government can mobilize on the many calls to action to help move the needle toward equity for girls and women in sports. Meetings will focus particular attention on calls for pay equity for female athletes.
Following the Capitol Hill meetings, the group will head to Georgetown University where the WSF Athlete Ambassadors will lead a panel followed by a multi-sport clinic with Georgetown student-athletes, for local girls. Five-time Paralympian and WSF President Alana Nichols will be joined by World Rugby Hall of Famer Phaidra Knight, Olympic bobsled bronze medalist Aja Evans, Olympic water polo champion Betsey Armstrong and three-time field hockey Olympian Rachel Dawson. The girls who will be participating hail from WINNERS Lacrosse and DC SCORES, community partners from WSF and espnW’s Sports 4 Life program, which seeks to increase participation and retention of girls of color in developmental youth sports programs.
“National Girls & Women in Sports Day is a date many look forward to every year; though its purpose and importance is something the Foundation lives every day,” Nichols said. “The benefits of sport for young girls are limitless. It’s exciting to be able to interact with these girls, to teach them life lessons and to show them that no matter who they are or where they’re from, the power of play is transcendent.”
About National Girls & Women in Sports Day
National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) began in 1987 as a special day in our nation’s Capital to recognize women’s sports. The day united premiere organizations and elite female athletes to bring national attention to the promise of girls and women in sports. In 1987, NGWSD also served as a remembrance of Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and dedication to promoting equality for women’s sports; Hyman died of Marfan’s Syndrome in 1986. NGWSD has since evolved into an event to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.
NGWSD is powered by the Women’s Sports Foundation, supported by its team of champion athletes and celebrated throughout the year by schools and community-serving organizations across all 50 states. Visit the official website www.NGWSD.org for more information, and follow the hashtags #NGWSD and #LeadHerForward on social media.
About the Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has positively shaped the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches. We’re building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation. All girls. All women. All sports. To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org
Women’s Sports Foundation