East Meadow, NY, June 23, 2011 – In celebration of the 40th year of Title IX, the Women’s Sports Foundation is kicking off a year-long celebration of women in sports beginning June 23rd, 2011 – the 39th anniversary of the landmark legislation’s signing. With the call to action, “Get Your Game On, Girls!,” the Women’s Sports Foundation is encouraging everyone to get in the game in support of girl’s and women’s sports, and to help keep the promise of Title IX alive.
Title IX, which ensures equal access to both men and women in federally-funded educational programs and activities, including sports, was enacted in 1972, when just one in 27 girls participated in high school varsity sports. As a result of Title IX, and the work of the Women’s Sports Foundation, that number has increased to about two in five today. In women’s collegiate programs the increase is more than 500 percent. However, while both men’s and women’s sports participation reached all-time highs in 2010, females have 1.3 million fewer high school and more than 60,000 fewer college sports participation opportunities than males.
“We’ve come a long way, but there is still work to be done,” said Women’s Sports Foundation founder Billie Jean King. “Title IX has been and continues to be the driving force behind providing women and girls more opportunities in sports, but as we enter Title IX’s 40th year the gaps between boys and girls are still substantial. As a community, it’s our duty to provide these opportunities for both girls and boys and everyone should have a chance to play.”
The Women’s Sports Foundation seeks to build awareness and appreciation for all that Title IX has done. The legislation is not only responsible for the surge in women’s athletics, it is the reason our society has more women doctors, engineers, judges, political leaders and women in business than it did 40 years ago. Title IX also paved the way for stronger public policy for men and women with impairments, including athletes.
Throughout the course of the next 12 months, the Women’s Sports Foundation is calling on women and men, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and anyone who cares about helping young people flourish to participate, advocate and support the Women’s Sports Foundation’s programs for girls and women.
“Athletics are an important educational opportunity,” says Women’s Sports Foundation President Laila Ali. “Sports and physical activity teach girls valuable life lessons on teamwork, endurance, self-reliance, leadership, confidence, physical fitness, and yes – fun. Missing out on those opportunities can mean missing out on key lessons you may not learn in a classroom.”
The benefits of playing sports go far beyond the schoolyard or playing field. Research demonstrates girls who participate in sports and physical activity are more likely than inactive girls to have better emotional and physical health, get better grades, graduate from high school and go on to college. In fact, a study found that four of five executive businesswomen played sports growing up, attributing the lessons they learned on the playing field as a key to their success.
“You can help keep Title IX alive by advocating and educating others about the importance of this very important legislation,” said Women Sports Foundation CEO Kathryn Olson. “And we want you to participate by making a commitment to yourself or a girl in your life to Get Your Game On with the Women’s Sports Foundation on Facebook. You can also donate to help the Foundation provide opportunities for more girls to become physically active.”
The Women’s Sports Foundation will mark Title IX’s 40th anniversary year with a series of events and programs, including:
WomensSportsFoundation.org – A bold, newly redesigned digital community for people who care about girls’ and women’s sports, health and fitness. The web site will showcase the “voices” of the world’s top female athletes, offer advocacy tools and resources, provide access to grants and education, and inspire WSF supporters through a powerful combination of Sports, Health and Education (SHE).
GoGirlGo! – This signature program of the Women’s Sports Foundation combines an award-winning curriculum with sports and physical activity programming for girls who are sedentary or not participating in regular activity. The GoGirlGo! program, designed for girls 5 to 18, has reached over 1 million girls in underserved communities.
Travel & Training Fund – The Women’s Sports Foundation’s Travel & Training Fund provides direct financial assistance to aspiring female athletes for coaching, specialized training, equipment, attire and/or travel. Grants are awarded to individual and team athletes and are based, in part, on need.
32nd Annual Salute to Women in Sports – This star-studded annual gala honors the accomplishments of athletes and supporters who have opened doors for girls and women competing in athletics at all levels. This year’s gala will be held on October 19 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
Title IX at 40: Progress and Promise – Equity for All – This conference, taking place in May 2012, will be hosted by the Women’s Sports Foundation and University of Michigan through their mutual partnership, The Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center for Women and Girls (SHARP).
Details on these and other upcoming events in this 40th year of Title IX can be found as they are announced on www.WomensSportsFoundation.org . To get involved, visit Facebook.
About Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation, founded in 1974, is the leader in promoting sports, health and education for girls and women. With Billie Jean King as its founder and ongoing visionary, the Women’s Sports Foundation continues to have a profound impact on female athletics, from its vigorous advocacy of Title IX legislation to providing grants and scholarships, grassroots programs for underserved girls, and groundbreaking research. An agent for change, the Women’s Sports Foundation has relationships with more than 1,000 of the world’s elite female athletes and is recognized globally for its leadership, vision, strength, expertise and influence. For more information, please call the Women’s Sports Foundation at 800.227.3988 or visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org .
Anne Marie Carver, Zeno Group