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!


  1. I love the idea of GirlSports. My step-daughter recently asked me about my experience playing soccer as a girl. I started in middle school, and she wanted to know I didn't start earlier. I had to think for a minute. It was never even an option. Soccer for girls? Now it's become second nature and today's girls don't realize how fortunate they are. But I suppose, that's a good thing.

  2. Second nature is right! Girls today, thank God, think they can do everything!