40 years ago on the North Dakota prairie my mom was not given the opportunity participate in sports in her small town high school. She could be a cheerleader or a baton twirler. She went to track practice. Her brothers got to get on the bus and go to the track meets but she never was allowed. Just years later, my aunt Holly was given the opportunity to play with the boys. Eventually, she played girls basketball and went on to play college basketball.
25 years after my mom graduated from high school, after playing multiple sports, I earned a track scholarship to college.
It was Title IX in 1972 that changed the sports landscape for girls, prohibiting discrimination in activities.
For the way my mom was raised, I never wanted to a cheerleader. I wanted more.
But tonight, on the North Dakota prairie, Miss E was a cheerleader at our local small town volleyball game. It was the region championship, chance to go to the state tournament.
Our girls lost. But I was empowered to see Miss E with pom pom’s. She can be a cheerleader if she chooses. Or a speech team participant. Or in the school drama program. She can play volleyball. Or basketball. Or track. The list is long.
The choices are her own. It is all because generations of women ahead of her blazed a trail to Miss E and her sister, Miss A a platform to choose.
What activities or sports did you participate in as a child?
(Thanks, Mom. Thanks Aunt Holly.)