Everything you need to know about National Girls & Women in Sports Day
February 2nd marks the 36th annual celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). Given the historical marginalization of girls and women in sports, NGWSD aims to inspire and empower girls and women to be active and involved in sports. Furthermore, NGWSD honors the historical achievements of women who forged progress for other women in sports while acknowledging the work that remains to be done.
When is National Girls & Women in Sports Day?
In 2023, NGWSD will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 1st.
What is the history of National Girls & Women in Sports Day?
NGWSD began in 1987 as then-President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5606, declaring February 4th as “National Women in Sports Day.” In part, Reagan’s Proclamation read, “The number of women participating in sports continues to grow, and we will continue to assure that more opportunities are created. From coach to administrator, women play an important role in the development of athletic programs for people of all ages.”
This day was initiated in remembrance of Flo Hyman, an Olympic women’s volleyball player. She tragically passed away in 1986 wherein she dedicated herself to promoting equality in sports. Since then, this day has evolved to recognize all girls and women in sports — athletes, administrators, coaches, lawmakers, journalists, and other girls or women in sports.
NGWSD is organized by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), one of FieldLevel’s proud partners. The Women’s Sports Foundation has been around for over 45 years, and its ultimate goal is to advance women’s lives in sports and enable them to grow — both athletically and in life.
Why is National Girls & Women in Sports Day important?
NGWSD is important because it calls everyone to …
- Acknowledge the progress girls and women have made in sports.
- Realize the progress that is still to come for girls and women in sports.
- Celebrate every girl and woman in sports who has, directly or indirectly, made any of the past, present, or future progress possible.
What does National Girls & Women in Sports Day mean to women at FieldLevel?
In conjunction with our partners, the Women’s Sports Foundation and Positive Coaching Alliance, FieldLevel is working to amplify NGWSD and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX. As part of this, a few women at FieldLevel have chosen to share what NGWSD means to them, as it is a celebration of so many different things and means something different to everyone.
“Celebrating NGWSD means we are acknowledging how far our society has come to give girls and women opportunities to dedicate their minds, bodies, and spirits to expression through competition. Though we need no validation, I do think it is important to celebrate the progress we’ve made and continue to give girls and women opportunities to show their leadership abilities and support other athletes through sport.”
– Cherie Hughes-Grigsby, Women’s Basketball Community Manager at FieldLevel
“NGWSD represents to me our continued commitment to equity not only in sports but across all facets of society. Sports – like many social constructs such as workplaces, government, and more — reflect the institutionalized masculinity that has regulated communities throughout time. When we raise awareness and encourage more females to participate in athletics, we not only recognize women for more than just their appearances but we also recognize and therefore reject the gender stereotypes that have played a major role in the development of unequal societies.”
– Kahala Bonsignore, Senior Product Manager at FieldLevel
“NGWSD is a celebration for everyone. For a long time, I thought it was just for girls and women who are playing or coaching sports — an identity that I don’t resonate with, as I haven’t played on a sports team in many years. Now, I realize that there are so many more people to honor on NGWSD, including myself as a woman who works in the sports industry!”
– Sarah Pettycord, Marketing Communications Specialist at FieldLevel
“For me, NGWSD commemorates the brave women before us who risked everything to be able to play. It wasn’t that long ago when women were not even allowed to play sports, and to see and be a part of how far we’ve come today brings tears of joy to my eyes. We truly stand on the shoulders of the women before us. Women not only set us up to take advantage of our current available opportunities but also remind us to pay it forward to continue paving the way for future girls and women to have even more opportunities in sport!”
– Jackie Stanger, Water Polo Community Manager at FieldLevel
“Celebrating NGWSD gives us all the opportunity to reflect and celebrate how far we have come and how much we have accomplished in the sports world, while also acknowledging that the work is not over. It is so important for girls and women to be celebrated in this way because it shows future generations that there are no limits or boundaries just because of your gender identity.”
– Kelli Ludwig, Support Specialist at FieldLevel
How should I celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day?
There are many ways you can celebrate NGWSD. The Women’s Sports Foundation has compiled the NGWSD Event List, which contains a variety of in-person and virtual events across the United States. Additionally, if you have organized your own NGWSD Event, you can use the NGWSD Event Submission Form to add it to the Event List.
The Women’s Sports Foundation also created the NGWSD Virtual 5K & 50 Mile Challenge, presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. This is a new and interactive way to celebrate within your community and across the country, leading up to Title IX’s 50th anniversary in June 2022. The timeline to participate in the NGWSD 5K is February 1st – February 28th, 2022, and the timeline for the 50 Mile Challenge is February 1st – June 23rd, 2022.
Whether you choose to walk, run, bike, row, swim, or do another activity, this challenge is a great way to celebrate NGWSD. You can register for the NGWSD Virtual 5K & 50 Mile Challenge at any time.
If you have any questions about NGWSD, the FieldLevel team is here to help you and support you. If there’s anything we can do, please contact us in one of the following ways:
Demo: Schedule a Time
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