Girls’ Sports Day

Today is the official Blog to Rally for Girls’ Sports Day hosted by the National Women’s Law Center in celebration of the importance of girls in sports.

The idea behind our Blog to Rally for Girls’ Sports Day is simple: “What did you win by playing sports?” You can use this theme to begin discussing what the chance to participate in athletics programs meant to you and/or your daughter and how it has impacted your lives.

Some things to keep in mind as you’re writing:
Research has repeatedly shown that participation in sports has many benefits for young women. For example, participation in sports decreases girls’ chances of becoming obese and developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer. Female athletes have higher levels of self-esteem, a lower incidence of depression and a more positive body image than non-athletes. Girls who play sports have higher grades, better test scores, and are less likely to drop out. They also have more opportunities to apply for athletic scholarships, which can help them attend college. Female athletes are also more likely to participate in traditionally male-dominated occupations, which are typically higher paying. In addition, more than four out of five executive businesswomen played sports growing up, and the vast majority reported that the lessons they learned on the playing field contributed to their success in business. By playing sports, girls win more than a game.

You can sign up for Blog to Rally for Girls’ Sports on December 8th by visiting http://action.nwlc.org/site/PageNavigator/Blog_to_Rally_Girls_Sports.

I am not particularly interested in sports for several reasons including the fact that as a child, my mother would not let me participate in any form of sport (including bicycle riding) because she did not consider it ‘feminine’. I was encouraged to spend time indoors and read books which in itself was not too bad but I do wish I had been encouraged to participate in sports. I wonder if my experience is unique. I also wonder at the importance of sports to African women.

These days there is lot of talk on the Super Falcons, Nigeria’s national women’s football team. Several of my female friends don’t watch women’s football because they find it boring and not as exciting as “normal football”. I believe such attitudes have to change. Let’s support and encourage sports regardless of the gender.