Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Title IX opened up opportunity for girls in the 70s

With the 39th anniversary of Title IX coming up in June, I am remembering a program that I and another mom began for our daughters in grade school back in the mid-70s. 

Title IX, you may recall, was the amendment to the 1972 Civil Rights Law that prohibited sex discrimination in federally funded programs in education. Girls finally got the same assistance that boys did in school athletics.

With Title IX in mind, my friend Suzie Watts and I started GirlSports, an after-school sports program for little girls. My daughter, Kathleen, and her daughter, Dana, were in maybe 4th or 5th grade, I don't remember exactly. Suzie and I picked them up—and the other girls who signed up—after school at Cherry Hills Elementary and took them to various venues for sports activities a couple of times a week.

We'd go to a park and play soccer or softball; sometimes we went to a bowling alley; another time we did the workout circuit at a nearby park. The idea was to get them moving and interested in sports. Remember, this was way before organized sports became a big deal for elementary school kids. Soccer was just starting, and Kathleen did play on a team a few years later.

Did we get funding? No! We didn't apply for any, but it sure was fun! It would be interesting to hear from any of those girls if they continued on to pursue a sport we introduced them to.

So if any moms out there want to get something going - please revive GirlSports, and have a ball!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Women's Lacrosse Scores Big at Vail Shootout

Women's lacrosse is growing by leaps and bounds, as is the sport in general as it moves west. The most prestigious lacrosse event in the country happens in Colorado every summer. For the last 39 years, the Vail Lacrosse Shootout Presented by Harrow brings the best players around the nation for nine days of play in the Vail Valley. The dates are June 25-July 3 with play on four different fields.

The fastest growing division is the Under 19 High School Division. This year, the girls H.S. division will have 24 teams, more than the high school boys. The Women's Elite division (collegiate, post collegiate and club teams) will field 16 teams.

If you go: Girls High School games will be at Freedom Park in Edwards June 27-30; Women's Elite will be June 30-July 3, also at Freedom Park. Edwards is about 11 miles west of Vail Village on I-70. There is no admission charge to watch the games, and you can pick up a shootout program at each of the venues. Visit vaillacrosse.com for a complete schedule of games and venues. Also, visit coloradolacrosse.org.

If you love this sport, or just love humanity, make a donation to Lacrosse the Nations, an international humanitarian organization to foster education and critical life skills for children living in poverty worldwide. Just $50 buys snacks and drinks during lacrosse practices; $100 buys sticks for four students.

For lodging near Edwards, I highly recommend:
Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa
126 Riverfront Lane
A short drive on Highway 6 takes you to the fields in Edwards. Each room of this luxury hotel has a kitchen plus every amenity you could want. Restaurant Avondale, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; plus a mountainside outdoor lounge and a swimming pool are welcome spots after the games.