Today marks the 26th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), with a theme this year of “Title IX at 40: In it for the Long Run.”
On June 23, it’ll be the 40th anniversary of the federal legislation that requires schools which receive public funding to provide equal athletic (and educational) opportunities to males and females.
A coalition of five organizations—the Women’s Sports Foundation, National Association for Women and Girls in Sport, the National Women’s Law Center, Girls’ Incorporated, and Girl Scouts of the USA—will converge upon Capitol Hill today to host a brief panel on Title IX and women in sports. Included on the panel will be Cornell McClellan, personal trainer to President Obama and the first family.
The day began back in 1987 in recognition of Flo Hyman, an Olympic volleyball player who died of Marfan’s Syndrome in Japan the previous year. Since then, it’s evolved into a day to recognize the accomplishments of all women in sports, with events held in every U.S. state.
While the focus will be on the positive achievements of women in sports, members of the NGWSD coalition will also stress the continued inequalities in athletic opportunities for males and females at the high school level.
Overall, high school girls still receive 1.3 million less athletic opportunities than males, according to the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport. In the 2010-11 school year, roughly 4.5 million boys participated in high school sports, while just under 3.2 million girls did the same, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Here’s a state-to-state list of NGWSD events, courtesy of the NAGWS.
You can also keep track of NGWSD happenings by following hashtag #NGWSD on Twitter.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.