For 34 years, Feb. 5 has been designated as National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). Bishop’s girls’ basketball coach Courtney Clements organized the local “Her Time” event held on Saturday, Feb. 8 to celebrate that history and the opportunities for girls and women to play and be active.
Also participating in the event from Bishop’s were assistant coach and English teacher Michelle Shea and director of admissions Kim Cooper, along with students Renee Chong ’22, Ayla Johnson ’26 and Courtney Anderson ’20.
Reflecting on the day’s activities, Courtney shares, “The “Her Time” event was successful in both educating and encouraging young female athletes. Topics like leadership, health, gender equality, Title IX and EADA (Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act) were discussed. In addition to those topics, a panel of accomplished female athletes spoke about their individual athletic experiences.”
Ayla adds, “I was excited to learn from a variety of successful female athletes who played different sports. At the event, I learned about Title IX and how this law requires equal opportunity for boys and girls in both education and sports. We also had sessions on injury prevention and communication. I found it helpful to learn about new stretches to keep my body from getting sore.”
Coach Clements explains, “Title IX has played an important role in the advancement of opportunities for female athletes. This event served as a resource for parents and players to be more informed about the components of Title IX and the history behind it.”
Before Title IX, many young girls did not have opportunities to play sports because teams were only offered for young boys. We want young girls to know how far we’ve come in terms of opportunities and that we still have a long way to go, which gives them a lot to look forward to. As we press on to provide positive experiences in sport for girls we want them to take advantage of all that sport offers. Keeping parents informed will equip them with the necessary tools to encourage and empower their daughters in their respective sport.”
The girls appreciate the opportunities sports offer. Ayla says, “I love being part of a team and working together to be successful. It’s really fun to travel with my teammates to find new competition and play teams from different places.”
“Sports provide me with an outlet, help me establish a sense of self and of course allow me to be a part of a community,” notes Courtney.
Ms. Shea sums up, “Sports are really important for developing so many of the qualities that foster success for a lifetime. They develop confidence, leadership, mental toughness and the ability to collaborate well with others. In a world where a glass ceiling still exists, these qualities are especially important for young women.”