Did you know that February 2, 2011, is National Girls and Women in Sports Day in the United States? And, that this is the 25th anniversary of the day?
Created in 1987, by the Womens’ Sports Foundation to remember and honor Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman, it has grown into an event to celebrate and commemorate all girls and women who participate in sports, to encourage participation, and to celebrate sports leaders.
Today, it is sponsored by the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) coalition, a group that includes The Women’s Sports Foundation, Girl’s Incorporated, Girl Scouts of America, the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, and the National Women’s Law Center.
This year’s theme is “Play, Believe, Achieve” and there are events taking place all around the country designed to show what women and girls can achieve. Check to see if there is an event near you. You can also download a free poster or order other materials honoring the day from the coalition.
The National Association for Girls and Women in Sports (NAGWS) offers 10 suggestions for helping women’s sports. They chose 10 because “if a girl does not play sports by the time she is 10 years old, there’s less than a 10 percent chance she’ll be playing when she’s 25.”
Here are the NAGWS’ suggestions for helping promote women’s sports:
Buy a basketball, glove, soccer ball or other sport gift for your favorite sportsgirl – send her the message that you think she can play sports.
Take your friends and family to a women’s sports event – high school, college, or professional sports.
Watch a women’s sports program on television and call the station to thank them for carrying women’s sports (so they’ll continue to air women’s sports programs).
Write a letter to your local newspaper editor either asking them for fairer coverage of women’s sports or thanking them for great coverage.
Buy women’s collegiate and professional sports merchandise like t-shirts and hats. It’s an important way to advance the economic success of your favorite team.
Take someone who has never attended a women’s sports event to a high school, college, or professional women’s sports game.
Visit your local sports retail store. If they are not carrying licensed merchandise for your favorite women’s sports team (college, WNBA, WUSA, etc.), write to the manager and let them know you want to purchase this product and you would appreciate it if they would carry it. If they are carrying the product, thank them for doing so.
Write to sponsors of women’s sports to tell them how much you appreciate their support of women’s sports.
Conduct a sports clinic for local elementary school girls. Tell each girl why it’s so important for them to play sports and how much fun it is.
Grade your school on whether it is treating male and female athletes equally. Write a letter to the principal either asking for change or applauding the school’s commitment to girls’ sports.