Title IX and Women’s Sports

Today’s Workout: 2 mile run on treadmill/5 mile walk
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”
—United States Code Section 20
Title IX  was passed on June 23, 1972 and forever changed the athletic lives of women in this country.
I was taking a long walk around my neighborhood this evening and enjoy passing the high school on my route.  Sometimes I get to hear the marching band practice and other times it’s the football team.  As I reached the high school tonight, the students were being picked up by their parents after their athletic practice or games.  The one thing that stood out to me is how nice the girls’ uniforms were.  I saw Nike logos, sweatshirts and warm-up gear.  This is a big difference from when I was in high school.
I entered high school 20 years ago this fall (wowzers, I’m old) and treatment of girls’ sports was a lot difference.  We didn’t have new uniforms, my cross-country uniform was from years ago and had holes in it.  We had to pay for our own spandex to wear since the uniforms were so worn that they could be see-thru.  On the other hand, our football team received new uniforms each year.   The girls also had to give up their locker room when a visiting football team came to our school and we weren’t allowed to practice on the football field.  All of this was a little unfair.
Tonight, I was happy to see that the girls in my town have nice uniforms like the boys and I hope that they are treated the same.  It amazes me that girls have only had equal athletic rights as boys for the past 39 years.  Most of our mothers weren’t allowed or didn’t have the opportunity to participate in school sports like we did.
In the past 39 years we definitely have come a long way. In 1990, 25% of road race finishers were women but in 2010, we made up 53%.    In 2010, 59% of half-marathon finishers were women.   (Source)  Women are definitely leading the charge in the running boom!  We owe so much of this to Title IX.
I am proud to be a running women and soon to be running mom.  I hope that I will pass on my love of running to my son or daughter.
How were girls’ sports treated in your high school?  What are you opinions on women’s running?
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