Today we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX. The law was signed by President Nixon on June 23, 1972 and states “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.”
Essentially Title IX leveled the playing field for women, allowing broad opportunities to play sports in school. If you grew up in the United States and played sports in school, you probably benefited from Title IX.
I know I have. I’m sure many of the ‘Inspiring Women‘ snowboarders I wrote about earlier this week did too.
I played soccer from age five until high school, when I made the switch over to field hockey in my sophomore year. I found my niche playing field hockey, quickly making my way to starter on the varsity team and then captain. One of my proudest moments in being called a “hard-nosed defender” in my local paper.
From playing hockey, I learned about leadership, teamwork, and pushing myself my to achieve my goals. I never would have imagined myself being someone freshman looked up to. Nor would have I believed that I’d ever be able to run a mile in under 8 minutes. For me, playing field hockey built both my physical abilities as well as my character.
When I went to college, there was no field hockey team so I ended up walking on to play volleyball. I remember practicing with another freshman, who also was a former field hockey player, and the coach being amazed that were so responsive to coaching. He would tell us to do something once and we’d pick it up immediately. I remember shrugging this compliment off, but I later realized that it was a testament that Megan and I were athletes not just field hockey players. Part of being an athlete is self awareness, being able to make changes, and being coachable.
I didn’t start snowboarding until after college, but I know it was my physical conditioning and my athletic experiences that allowed me to progress to the snowboarder I am today. We all know that snowboarding is not an easy sport to learn, but pushing through the pain and setting goals was something I knew how to do. While I am proud to be where I am with my snowboard, I am still learning and challenging myself in snowboarding as well as other athletic pursuits like cycling and triathlons.
I don’t think I’d be the same person I am today without the experiences and friends I’ve made playing sports. So thank you to all the people who worked to make Title IX happen.
Happy Anniversary Title IX! Here’s to another 40 years of helping women to achieve their best!
How has Title IX affected you? Let us know in the comments!
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Nike via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Nike.