By: Gail Zuagar, Outreach AssociatePosted on February 5, 2014 Issues: Athletics Education & Title IX

Although I was an athlete in high school, I don’t recall hearing anyone talk about National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) during those years. When I asked one of my former coaches about it, she told me that our school chose a group of girls each year to participate in NGWSD activities held at a local university. I was glad to hear this, but surprised that there was so little known about this day and its purpose. As I reflect on this day, and the importance of Title IX in sports, I thought I’d share my list of the nine things Title IX did for me:

  1. Allowed me to experience all that it means to be part of a team.
  2. Helped me to make friends outside my normal social circle.
  3. Built my confidence (and gave me something to brag about).
  4. Developed in me a love for sports (which I think my husband appreciates!).
  5. Got me out of class!
  6. Created relationships that have been going strong for a LONG time (I won’t say exactly how long, but we’re talking DECADES!)
  7. Allowed me to realize the athletic ability God gave me (I was no Olympic athlete, but I did OK)
  8. Opened up the opportunity for me to run in the Penn Relays.
  9. Taught me a little something about leadership.


I wish I had known about NGWSD while I was a schoolteacher. I would have taken advantage of the opportunity to teach the boys and the girls about the importance of girls and women in sports. Since my chance has passed, I figured I would do my best to help out those who are still in the classroom. Here are some resources you can use to teach the children in your lives about this day. And BrainPOP, a popular site among the teachers I know, has posted a blog and two videos: one about the Olympics

and the other about basketball

in celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

What did Title IX do for you? Please share by commenting below!


National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) was first celebrated in 1987. The purpose of NGWSD is to recognize the accomplishments and achievements of female athletes. It also serves to acknowledge the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports. For more information, click here.