Feb. 1, 2023, is National Girls & Women in Sports Day! The celebration is important for future generations to understand their rights to equal access and opportunity. Learn below why this date is important and how you can observe this national day. Miller PT supports women in sports -- and stands right with you to avoid and overcome injuries.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day was first observed in 1987 to remember the Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman and acknowledge her as the best female volleyball player of her time and her work in promoting equal representation of women in sports. Hyman died of a genetic disorder, Marfan’s syndrome, while playing a tournament in Japan.
Since then, the day has evolved to commemorate all women athletes, their achievements, the positive impacts of inclusion of women in sports, and to address the challenges regarding equal participation of women in sports activities. The day also appreciates the progression made since the enactment of the civil rights law, Title IX.
Title IX was a public law passed in 1972 that completely changed the women’s narrative in sports. The legislation called for equal participation of everyone in all the programs and activities that were federally funded, which meant all public schools would ensure equitable sports opportunities to the students, regardless of their gender. Title IX was a breakthrough in women’s sports. Before this, only one in 27 girls had access to sports activities. But, today, that statistic has lowered to two in five girls, which is a commendable improvement.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated in all 50 states. The day is usually celebrated by organizing community events, award ceremonies, and other sports activities that inspire girls and women to play sports and be active.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day aims to motivate girls and women to play sports and be energetic, and to realize their full potential. So seize this day as an opportunity to play your favorite sport for a mental and physical boost.
Take this day to thank individuals and organizations who have been striving for equal representation of women in sports activities. You can head over to social media and make a thank-you post to show deserving people/organizations that have helped expand women’s participation in sport some love, and help more people learn about it.
If you’re super excited about National Girls and Women in Sports Day (like we are!), you can even plan, organize, and host your own N.G.W.S.D. activities. The Women’s Sports Foundation has all the resources, event action kits, and communications kits with logos, posters, certificates, tips, and a checklist to host a kick-ass event.
During ancient times, women were not even allowed to be part of the audience at the Olympic Games.
The first modern Olympic Games was held in 1896 and women were not allowed to participate in it.
Plato supported equal access for women in gymnastics in his books “Republic” and “Laws.”
Medical authorities dating as far back as Aristotle declared that women have a limited amount of energy and that much of it is depleted during the menstrual cycle, therefore women shouldn’t take part in sports.
In 19th century America, sports were considered to be a threat to female fertility.
At least 75% of girls have heard derogatory remarks about girls in sports. National Girls and Women in Sports Day reiterates the narrative that women belong in all sports.
The celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day helps convey the importance of being physically active and encourages women to realize their full potential.
While discussing the history of women's achievements, the role of sports in women’s social emancipation is usually ignored. National Girls and Women in Sports Day appreciates the achievements of female coaches and athletes and acknowledges the role of sports to help unlock the boundless potential of women.
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