This past Saturday, June 23, marked the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Now that might not be important to a lot of people, but, for all of the past and present high school and college female athletes in the United States, it’s means a lot.
What’s interesting about Title IX, though, is that the original statute did not even mention sports. Take a look:
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...
Of course, we’ve all come to know this Equal Opportunity in Education Act as the one that impacts female high school and college athletes, of which I was both.
Title IX directly affected me in high school, as I was a girl who loved to run and wanted to do so competitively for my school. Well, as you may have guessed, my high school only had a men’s cross country team. So, when I expressed my desire to compete in that arena for my school, the administration ultimately had to comply with Title IX and allow me to run. Of course, the funny part was that I basically had to join the men’s team because I was the only female runner, and the school wasn’t prepared to accommodate a one-person team, at that point. So, as it were, I trained with the men’s team but competed in the women’s meets.
After that cross country season ended and I had done well, even qualifying for the State Championship, things were forever changed for the sport of cross country at my school. Ever since, and I’ve been out of school for over a decade, there has been a women’s cross country team, and I am extremely proud to say that I founded it, and it was Title IX that made it possible!
How has Title IX affected you… in school, in work, in athletics?
Photo courtesy of my brother-in-law, Jason Popp, freelance photographer and lover of the sport of running.Pin It