The Gonzaga women are preparing to head to the NCCA tournament alongside the Cougs women. It’s been common that women in sports get overshadowed by the men’s team.
The men sports world versus the women’s shows a huge difference in pay and support.
For former athlete, Angela Rypien, who played in the Legends Football League as a quarterback, she said when she played, she found it important to not compare herself to the men.
“I think there is so much comparison right now, comparing yourself to men, it kind of robs you of that happiness,” said Rypien.
Rypien said there were challenges as a kid wanting to play more male dominated sports.
“I didn’t know I could, not because of anything physically but because I didn’t know if it would be accepted,” she said.
She said now, she is so happy to see the support and acceptance of women’s sports growing.
“They are not limited, which is really exciting,” said Rypien. “When I was growing up there wasn’t a girls flag football league, or the girls weren’t allowed to play on the boys team, it’s no nice to see how much we are evolving.”
Women in the greater Spokane area are inspiring young girls everywhere.
There are more women from here that go onto to play sports at a high level than men.
And now, with the Cougs and the Zags women both representing women on a large scale, more young girls can see that they can play too.
Rypien’s message to young girls out there is, “get out there and experience it, you are only young once.”
Rypien is now working on a podcast called SportsMoms, talking to moms of professional athletes on how they helped their kids reach that success.