Since 1987, the first Wednesday in February has been designated as National Girls and Women in Sports Day, recognizing student-athletes, champion athletes, coaches, administrators and lawmakers committed to providing equitable access to sports for all girls and women.
This year’s festivities on Feb. 4 also kicked off a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the legislation that provided that access: Title IX. The law, passed on June 23, 1972, opened opportunities for girls to play sports in school by stating, “No person in the United States shall, based on 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.”
At the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, more American women stood atop the medal podium than ever before. Sixty-six of Team USA’s 113 total medals were won by women. Gold medalists April Ross (beach volleyball) and Katie Ledecky (swimming) were among the many who credit Title IX for creating the opportunities they had to train, compete and succeed.
Growing Bolder celebrates the ‘lost generation’ of women, those in school before the 1972 passage of Title IX, whose only option for sports was cheerleading. Denied then, today they are excelling in master’s sports and realizing the many physical, mental, emotional and social benefits of participation. Growing Bolder proudly honored their accomplishments and shared their inspiration as part of our coverage of the 2022 National Senior Games.