National Girls & Women in Sports Day

National Girls and Women in Sports Day was first observed in 1987 to remember the Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman and acknowledge her as the best female volleyball player of her time and her work in promoting equal representation of women in sports. Hyman died of a genetic disorder, Marfan’s syndrome, while playing a tournament in Japan. Since then, the day has evolved to commemorate all women athletes, their achievements, the positive impacts of inclusion of women in sports, and to address the challenges regarding equal participation of women in sports activities. The day also appreciates the progression made since the enactment of the civil rights law, Title IX. Title IX was a public law passed in 1972 that completely changed the women’s narrative in sports. The legislation called for equal participation of everyone in all the programs and activities that were federally funded, which meant all public schools would ensure equitable sports opportunities to the students, regardless of their gender. Title IX was a breakthrough in women’s sports. Before this, only one in 27 girls had access to sports activities. But, today, that statistic has lowered to two in five girls, which is a commendable improvement. National Girls and Women in Sports Day is celebrated in all 50 states. The day is usually celebrated by organizing community events, award ceremonies, and other sports activities that inspire girls and women to play sports and be active.