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Staying In the Game – 40 Years of Title IX

June 23, 2012

The Women’s Sports Foundation recent video states, “In a society that teaches girls to judge their worth on looks rather than abilities, it’s no wonder that by age 14, girls are dropping out of sports at twice the rate of boys.”

In Georgia, we know these statistics all too well. The Georgia ComprehensiveYouth Health Survey showed alarming statistics for high risk behaviors in 5th – 8th grade children throughout Atlanta; across Georgia 40% students failed to meet national recommendations for physical activity. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness affirms that female athletes do better academically and have lower school drop-out rates than their nonathletic counterparts.”

Additional research shows that if a girl does not participate in sports by the time she is 10,there is only a 10% chance she will participate when she is 25.

At Girls on the Run we believe the key to starting girls on a path to wellness and a lifetime of fitness is to introduce the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle in girls’ formative years. Women who are active in sports and recreational activities as girls feel greater confidence and self-esteem in their physical and social selves than those who were sedentary as kids. We want to keep raising generations of GOTR Girls who are strong, confident and physically active. 

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding. In her blog in the Huffington Post, Madeline M. Kunin recounts, “I can attest from personal experience that before Title IX became law in 1972, girls’ opportunities to participate in sports were rare.” She goes on to say that now when she polls a classroomof female students about how many played sports in high school or college that almost every hand is raised.

I am grateful that I have benefited from only knowing a world where Title IX exists and that  there is a law that gives equality to all – especially women – in both the academic and athletic fields.

Here’s to 40years of Title IX and to keeping more girls in the game!

~Girls on the Run of Atlanta

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