2009-01-27

Here I go, getting on the soapbox again: Girls in sports

Okay, if you know me personally, my faithful readers, you will know that I am not a big fan of team sports. Don't play them, don't watch most of them, don't like the premise of subordination of individual self to a team. There.

However, I read something on the company mailing list for the location I work at. Let me quote:

I have been looking for a sport league to involve the teenage young ladies (14-18) at my church. If anybody knows of any sports league (volleyball, basketball, track, or kickball preferably) where a whole girls team can be sponsored versus signing up as individuals, please let me know. It was very easy to find leagues for the teenage boys, but it is very difficult to find one for the teenage girls. Please respond offline if you have any suggestions.

Now living in what seems to be an uninterrupted stretch of suburbia, I thought the lives of locals revolved around carting their kids around to activities, mostly athletic, using those giant-ass SUVs, purchase of which was justified by the kids' existence.

So I wrote back, trying to find out what the actual situation was. Here is the response I received, edited for privacy reasons:

I do think it is a national problem getting girls involved in sports though. I have seen a few organizations just geared towards promoting young ladies in sports. I think they credit it to the girls' lack of interest in sports overall for various reasons. I feel if there were more opportunities which are more fitting towards the young ladies' interests and in a more comfortable environment then they would participate more especially if they start them off at a younger age. They also need to do better marketing for their activities because they are very hard to find for the young ladies which are interested which is my situation now.

I have about 10 young ladies who want to be involved, but I can't find a league suitable. I am working with another church trying to get the equipment for a girls' volleyball team so we can at least start with that. I don't think it will happen this year since we need to gather all the equipment which is expensive when you add in the operation costs of referees and the facilities plus many of the girls involved at my church are not as financially fortunate as others.

Honestly, team sports is not even something I care about, but it strikes me as sad that those who want to be involved find their opportunities so limited.

Disclaimer: I have not done any research and am not an authority on this situation. Just reporting about my email exchange with a friend.