On Jan 28., Alma College celebrated the 37th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day during a women’s basketball victory and a women’s swim meet both against Kalamazoo College.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day is a celebration of females in all levels of sports put on by the Women’s Sport Foundation and colleges all around the United States.
Even though there are plenty of influential female athletes to look up to, there is still a gender gap existing in the world of athletics.
According to the University of Minnesota report, in the media, women make up 40 percent of professional athletes, but only four percent of media coverage is dedicated to women’s sports.
According to National Public Radio, in 2022, only 24 percent of institutions’ athletic budget went tow ards women’s sports, and only 16 percent of scholarship funds were allotted to women’s sports. This is 179 million dollars less than the funds allotted to men.
Even before college, there are fewer opportunities for women in high school sports. With 1.4 million fewer opportunities in high school sports than men, it makes sense why girls are twice as likely to drop out of sports by the age of fourteen.
Thankfully, there is a lot being done to change this. This year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day–coming after the 50 year anniversary of Title IX –looked to kick off the next 50 years of equality and opportunity for all.
Every year, Alma College and schools across the United States team up with the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) topromote female excellence in sports.
“At the moment, there is an under-representation and appreciation for women in the sports industry, and the Women’s Sport Foundation look to be catalysts of change,” said Abby Haag (‘25).
“[The WSF is] the ally, advocate and catalyst for tomorrow’s leaders. We exist to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. Our mission is to enable all girls and women to reach their potential in sports and life… Sure, that’s a long way to go but we’re not gonna stop until we get there,” said Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Sport Foundation.
Here at Alma College, not only was there a swim meet and a basketball doubleheader, but in the morning the Alma College Dance team hosted a clinic for 30 girls, there was an open gym session where kids could try out various sports with student athletes and there was an alumni reception where former female athletes came and received recognition for their contributions, too.
“I’m always celebrating women in sports every day of the year, and on Saturday it was great to see past, present and future Scots come together to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day,” said Kiana Verdugo, Associate Athletic Director for Operations and Compliance and Senior Woman Administrator.
During the week of Jan. 28, colleges and organizations around the United States are hosting events with the WSF that promote the next generation of female athletes. For more information about the WSF and the events of this year’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day, visit their website at https://www. womenssportsfoundation. org/.