Today, December 8, marks the Rally for Girls’ Sports Day, celebrating the importance of girls in sports and the far-reaching benefits of athletics participation for girls nationwide.
In partnership with the National Women’s Law Center, Girls4Sport is asking women to comment on the question: “What did you win by playing sports?” Tell us what participating in athletics programs meant to you and/or your daughter and how it has affected your lives.
Research has repeatedly shown that participation in sports has many benefits for young women. Participation in sports helps to decrease girls’ chances of becoming obese and developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Female athletes have higher levels of self-esteem, a lower incidence of depression and a more positive body image than non-athletes. Girls who play sports have higher grades, better test scores, and are less likely to drop out. They also have more opportunities to apply for athletic scholarships, which can help them attend college. Female athletes are also more likely to participate in traditionally male-dominated occupations, which are typically higher paying. In addition, more than four out of five executive businesswomen played sports growing up, and the vast majority reported that the lessons they learned on the playing field contributed to their success in business. By playing sports, girls win more than a game.
The National Women’s Law Center launched the Rally for Girls’ Sports campaign to address the discrimination in athletics that girls still face in high schools nationwide. The campaign features advocacy and outreach and also includes the filing of administrative complaints against twelve school districts across the country for failing to provide girls with equal opportunities to play sports, in violation of Title IX.