Much of this below is from an article in USA Today by Christine Brennan, June 22, 2017. In celebration of 45 years since the passing of Title IX, she states and I totally agree…
“The benefits will be in what happens after the playing days are over, namely more women in leadership positions in our society,” Big East commissioner and former WNBA president Val Ackerman wrote in an email. “Whether doctors, lawyers, engineers, CEOs, senators, university presidents, tech titans — the pathways for women will keep easing because sports can pave the way.”
It took a decade or two for Title IX to get going, but the floodgates were ready to open, and they did. What happened is what you see in your neighborhood, multiplied by thousands of neighborhoods: Millions of girls and women playing sports, filling the athletic fields you drive by every day, so omnipresent that they barely attract your attention anymore. Had you driven by those fields 45 years ago, the only girls you would have seen are those who had run over to tell their brothers it was time to come home for dinner.
To put it mildly, the law has become wildly successful. America has fallen in love with what it created. The 1999 Women’s World Cup soccer tournament was one of our first big hints. (The only event ever to make the covers of Time, Newsweek, People and Sports Illustrated the same week.) The record success of U.S. women at the Olympic Games, leading the way in the medal count, is another. College scholarships? Are you kidding? Name a father (or a mother) who isn’t as into their daughter’s games as they are their son’s.
“The passage of Title IX 45 years ago changed the trajectory of American women, thus transforming our culture,” Donna de Varona, Olympic gold medalist and Title IX advocate, said in an email. “We found our way into space, onto the Supreme Court and into the high echelons of politics. In the sporting arena, we became visible affirmations of what is possible, offering up strong, confident role models for future generations.”
Title IX is still relatively young, but its impact has been far more dramatic than most of us realize. An Ernst & Young and espnW survey found that among businesswomen now in the C-suite (CEOs, CFOs, etc.), a stunning 94% played sports, and 52% played college sports.
Perhaps most important, these young women are not going to forget what they learned through sports.
Tennis legend and women’s sports icon Billie Jean King thinks they will have a profound effect on the future of this country. “The young women graduating college in the next few years may be the first generation of women to receive equal pay for equal work in their professional lifetime and Title IX is helping secure their future,” she wrote in an email.
We need to publish this on the Facebook pages of all the gyms in America. Have the parents realize that having little Olivia in gymnastics is doing so much more for her than just the development of physical strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, love of a sport, and how much it does for her self-esteem. Gymnastics helps create leaders of tomorrow. Women will be in the house all right and the Senate and the White House. That’s what we do every day—is help young leaders grow. How fun is our job?
Patti Komara owns Patti’s All-American Gymnastics in Dyer, Indiana since 1969 and has been named “#1 Best of the Region” for Gymnastics Schools by their local newspaper every year since its inception in 1994. Patti has also been a speaker for USA Gymnastics at national conventions every year since 1981 and has also led hundreds of training workshops.
Patti has produced over 80 instructional DVDs and has written books on yearly lesson plans for the internationally known Tumblebear Gym Program, School-Age Gymnastics, Dancing GymBears, YogaBears, CheerBears, Gym-N-Learn Educational Preschool, and Swim. All products can be found at tumblebear.com Patti currently has over 9,000 subscribers to her “Tumblebear Tips” eblasts and quarterly newsletter. You can sign up for it at tumblebear.com.