Sometimes, it takes longer than expected for a market to mature. In the case of girls’ and women’s sports it has been too long.
February 7 was National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). Originated in 1987 by Ronald Regan, NGWSD started as National Women in Sports Day. A day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her achievements and work for equality. Hyman died suddenly of Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue, in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since then, the day of observance has evolved to recognize all women athletes, their past and current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation for women, girls and society, as well as the progress made since Title IX was passed and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports, now known as NGWSD!
Just this winter season I have attended multiple girls’ HS basketball games, hockey games, college hockey games and the inaugural Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) game in St. Paul, MN.
I was not a late market arrival though. I officiated swimming & diving for 20 years, including girls’ and women’s high school and college competition from local dual meets up through State and Conference championships. I became an official like many other parents do, I had daughters that were competitive swimmers. They would swim thousands of yards a day, and swim hard in every race all season and sometimes year-round. But I was also a high school and college springboard diver. So, I have watched women athletes most of my adult life display the same spirit and competitiveness (if not more) than their male counterparts.
So, if you have not ever or lately been to a girl’s event, go take in a game, meet, or match. The competition is great and the entertainment value worth it.