Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a national observance that began in 1987 as a way to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. Research shows that when girls participate in sports, they develop the leadership skills they need to excel in school, at home, and in their communities.
Personally, sports have had a huge impact on my life. In addition to introducing me to lifelong friends and mentors, and connecting me to communities like Sounder at Heart, being an athlete helped me discover that my value went beyond my appearance, which was huge for a impressionable teenage girl.
Today, despite the big strides we've made in opening up access and opportunities for women and girls in sports:
- Girls receive approximately 1.3 million fewer opportunities than boys in high school athletics.
- Women make up only 43.4% of coaches of women's college teams and 2% of men's teams. In 1972, more than 90% of women's teams were coached by women.
- Girls of color receive far fewer opportunities to participate in sports. Those attending heavily minority high schools receive 39% of the opportunities to play sports as girls at predominately white schools.
So, today, join us in celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day in the best way possible ... with GIFS of awesome women athletes!
Here's Kim Little scoring against Portland with a little drop of the shoulder.
She also knows how to make a defense look silly by scoring a hattrick.
Let's talk about this Rapinoe blast and Jess Fishlock volley for a second. So pretty.
Seriously, though. The ball sticks to Kim Little's feet. INSANE.
IHWT. Never leave, Coach Harvey.
Oh, you think you're gonna score on Hope Solo? Think again!
Scoring while there's a torrential downpour? No problem.
Bev Yanez is proof that you can be a lethal goal-scorer AND the nicest human.
Most importantly, the Reign know how to celebrate.
Happy National Girls & Women in Sports Day, everyone!