Columbus, Ga (WRBL) – The 1972, Equal Opportunity in Education Act, more commonly known as Title 9 was signed into law.It prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. This dramatically changed the face of sports.
For example, it’s common to see the Northside High School Girls team go through practice in the middle of the season. While it’s not a special practice the players understand how special it is they can still participate in the sport they love. Even at this age these Lady Patriots understand how special it is to see the growth for Women’s Soccer.
“I think it’s amazing. I think that women have come a long way getting acknowledgement. We still have to fight a lot harder than the typical man. But I think it’s pretty amazing to see the support that we’ve had just build up over the years,” said Northside senior goalkeeper Huda Sayedzada.
Another sport that showcases female athletes on a big stage is Women’s Basketball. Long time Central-Phenix City Head Girls Basketball Coach, Carolyn Wright, says the women’s game continues to grow. It’s because the interest in sports for girls starts at a young age.
“With the communities having basketball programs for kids to get involved in. We’re seeing a lot of young talent come out. That helps us a lot. They’re watching a lot of the game. They watch their style of play and how hard it is to get to that level,” said Coach Wright.
In recent years, more athletic opportunities are opening up for high school girls. In the Georgia High School Association, Girls High School Wrestling is now an officially sanctioned sport. Jordan High School has seen tremendous success for their Girls Wrestling Team. Head Coach Russell Scott always believed that young women deserved a spot on the mat.
“Wrestling is obviously a male dominated sport. There are so many coaches now male and female that are on board with girls just being just as good as the boys. And in some cases they’re better. We can’t hold them back anymore, because of the simple fact that we have other coaches that are out there that are willing to accept girls on their team,” said Coach Scott.
Another sport that has exploded in popularity is Girls Flag Football. The Smiths Station Lady Panthers sprinted out of the gates and have already made it to the AHSAA State Championship Game. Smiths Station finished as the State Runner-Up. Head Coach Meg Larsen believes these new opportunities allows her athletes to grow on and off the field.
“I think it gives these female athletes the chance to really show what they can do. New opportunities and new room for growth. Not only help build athletics and make it more exciting and fun for the kids, but also it makes it exciting and fun for them growing as humans,” said Coach Larsen.