Historically, men have dominated the athletic field. However, many people are taking the initiative to increase female representation in sports. One such effort is the recent celebration of Women in Sports Day at Colorado College.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, CC celebrated Women in Sports Day at the El Pomar Sports Center in conjunction with the CC women’s basketball game against Texas Lutheran University. Throughout the afternoon, CC female student athletes and local athletic organizations offered interactive clinics with children from the local community.
Represented at the clinic were team members from CC’s women’s varsity sports teams and the Cutthroat Rugby Team. USA Volleyball, USA Weightlifting, USA Ultimate, and the YMCA were also present.
The purpose of Women in Sports Day was to break the historical narrative that men are more athletic than women. Women in Sports Day aimed to show young women that they can also succeed in athletics, and to remind them that women should not be left out of sports.
According to olympic.org, gender inequality still remains prevalent in athletics. In many countries around the world, talented female athletes are either denied access to sports or socially stigmatized when they do excel in a sport.
Currently, the International Olympic Committee Women in Sport Commission is pushing for increased gender equality in athletics across five realms: governance, sport, funding, portrayal, and human resources. The IOC Women in Sport Commission hopes to see a greater percentage of female athlete representation at the Olympic level.
Even so, while there are still sports that are exclusively male, such as football, some historically male sports are now establishing female equivalent teams; Rugby is one of these sports.
Bridget Galaty ’21, a rugby player on CC’s Cutthroat team, recounted her interactions with children at the event. Despite being able to interact with each child for only about five to ten minutes, Galaty described the children’s excitement at simply touching or throwing a rugby ball for the first time.
“Like any other athlete, [female athletes] learn how to be part of a team,” said Galaty. “They learn resiliency, they learn to think on their feet. [Being an athlete] teaches you how to share community.”
Galaty hopes that these children will begin to seek opportunities to get more involved with athletics — whether through local community teams or school-organized teams.
“[Women in Sports Day] gives [children] an opportunity to try out new sports that they might not be able to experience on their own,” said CC Director of Athletics Marketing Jessica Bennett. “And hopefully provide some role models to the next set of athletes as they grow up.”
Colorado College’s female athletes are eager to continue influencing the children of Colorado Springs through many more Women in Sports Days to come.