National Girls and Women in Sports Day
Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Sport is an avenue for connection, character building, and community that can harness opportunities to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence and promote protective factors. Below are a just few examples of how girls and women in sports are promoting social norms that protect against violence, providing leadership and opportunities for girls, and creating protective environments for prevention:
- The U.S. Women’s National Team advocates for equal pay to the men’s team.
- Valencia Peterson, or “Coach V,” runs a camp for young football players to learn relationship skills and other ways they can prevent sexual and domestic violence. Check out a news story on Coach V’s newest programming that activates young girls, too, and visit her organization’s website.
- Girls on the Run of Greater Alaska teaches social-emotional skills and empowerment in a fun, active environment for young girls, and contributes to community cohesion. Learn more from their podcast and web conference.
- Athletes as Leaders is a curriculum designed for girls on athletic teams to be community leaders in preventing violence.
- Serena Williams educates the public about financial abuse, a common form of domestic violence.
- Aly Raisman partnered with Darkness to Light to create a campaign that encourages adults involved in youth sports to receive training on preventing child sexual abuse.
These are only a sampling of the impact of girls and women in sports on sexual and domestic violence prevention. While sports are traditionally a male- and cisgender-dominated and controlled field, more women and trans and gender non binary folks are making waves in their sports, from seeing the first woman and openly LGBTQ+ person coach in a Super Bowl to trans athletes collecting victories across several athletic competitions.
Sport imitates life, and much like life, elevating opportunities and leadership for diverse identities makes communities, organizations, and institutions stronger.