On February 2, 2011, thousands of sports educators, coaches, athletic directors, recreation directors, association members, sponsors, students, and parents across the country will show their support of the Day and of this year’s theme, “Play, Believe, Achieve.”
Despite the stunning advances made in the 38 years since Title IX was enacted, high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than do boys, and evidence suggests that the money spent on girls’ sports programs lags significantly behind the money spent on boys’ programs.
Why She Plays
The benefits associated with sports participation for young women include: lower teenage pregnancy rates, better grades and higher self-esteem. And as women, participation in sports at a younger age equals higher rates of education and employment, and lower rates of obesity.
For women, participation in sports at a younger age equals higher rates of education and employment and lower rates of obesity.
BE A LEADER!
The 10-point play – how you can help women’s sports!
Be a leader! National Girls and Women in Sports Day is a great time to practice your leadership skills. Have your team or class commit to doing one action a day for 10 consecutive days to change the world for sports girls following in their footsteps! Why 10? Because if a girl does not play sports by the time she is 10 years old,there ‘s less than a 10% chance she’ll be playing when she’s 25.
- Buy a basketball, glove, soccer ball or other sport gift for your favorite sports girl – send her the message that you think she can play sports.
- Take your friends and family to a women’s sports event: high school, college, or professional sports.
- Watch a women’s sports program on television and call the station to thank them for carrying women’s sports (so they’ll continue to air women’s sports programs).
- Write a letter to your local newspaper editor either asking them for fairer coverage of women’s sports or thanking them for great coverage.
- Buy women’s collegiate and professional sports merchandise like T-shirts and hats. It ‘s an important way to advance the economic success of your favorite team.
- Take someone who has never attended a women’s sports event to a high school, college, or professional women’s sports game. Introduce others to the excitement of women’s sports. Help grow the fan base!
- Visit your local sports retail store. If they are not carrying licensed merchandise for your favorite women’s sports team (college, WNBA, WUSA, etc.), write to the manager to tell him or her you want to purchase this product and you would appreciate it if they would carry it. If they are carrying the product, thank them for doing so.
- Write to sponsors of women’s sports to tell them how much you appreciate their support of women’s sports.
- Conduct a sports clinic for local elementary school girls. Tell each girl why it ‘s so important for them to play sports and how much fun it is.
- Grade your school on whether it is treating male and female athletes equally. Write a letter to the principal either asking for change or applauding the school’s commitment to girls’ sports.
Keep Girls Active!
With no immediate intervention, one in three American children born in 2000 will contract Type II Diabetes and currently one in six girls today is obese or overweight.
The top five ways to motivate a girl and keep her active:
- Make it part of her daily routine – We live in a society where brushing one’s teeth and taking a bath are considered necessities in our daily routine. Physical activity offers just as many benefits as these! Mullins suggested taking spontaneous 10-minute breaks with a girl. Turn on the radio and dance – everything counts!
- Support and encourage her – “Leave notes of encouragement in her lunchbox or tennis shoes,” said Greenberg. Offer to accompany a girl during her activity or invite her on a walk.
- Expose her to positive role models – Girls model their behavior and actions after the women in their lives. Azzi suggested taking girls to local sporting events and reading magazine articles about female athletes.
- Let her make her own decisions – “Girls are more likely to follow through on a commitment when they’ve made their own decisions,” said Horovitz. “Give a girl a sense of empowerment and ownership by letting her make her own decisions of what type of activity she’ll pursue.”
- Demonstrate your commitment – Set aside time daily with your daughter to focus on a physical activity, Call local organizers and find out what’s available or what needs you can fulfill – never be afraid to share your ideas!
- NWLC Launches Blog to Rally for Girls’ Sports Day (womensrights.change.org)