Forty-three years ago today, on June 23, 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was signed by President Nixon, guaranteeing equal access and equal opportunity for females and males in almost all aspects of our educational systems. It is considered one of the most important legislation initiatives passed for women and girls since women won the right to vote in 1920.
What’s interesting to note is that the original statute made no explicit mention of sports, though Title IX is best known for its impact on high school and collegiate athletics. As Diana Parente, Deputy Director of PSAL for the New York City Department of Education shared with WYSK in September 2014, “Currently, there are nearly 3.67 million girls competing in high school sports in our nation. This is a staggering jump from the 250,000 girls that were participating forty years ago.”
Girls who play sports are more confident, less likely to smoke or do drugs, do better academically, and are at less of a risk for diseases.
But as there is still more work to be done on this front, her main responsibility is to ensure that all girls are given an equal opportunity to play sports they love as the benefits that come from being actively involved in sports are innumerable and invaluable.