As a young child, I spent many days at ballfields across the state watching my siblings play sports, but I never played myself. I’ve spent a lifetime cheering on Titans, Badgers, Spartans, Packers, and Utes because I love the competition, the drive, the teamwork, and the dedication it takes to be an athlete. Particularly, a female athlete. For nearly 40 years I have attended Utah Women’s gymnastics meets. Power, grace, and determination are the first words that come to mind as I watch those female athletes. And although I have never competed myself, this year’s commemoration of the passing of Title IX and recent current events has brought out some strong feelings for me and my desire to support women’s sports.
I have spent much of the last twelve years as a member of the Utah High School Activities Board of Trustees representing the 5A classification. In that position, it is my duty to give kids across the state opportunities to take part in extracurricular activities. But as one of only two women on the board, I feel it particularly important to stand up for our women’s sports. I am proud of being part of the committee to bring women’s wrestling to high schools across our state. We are working hard to tighten the gap but we know the work is not done.
So for those young women out there giving their all, leaving everything they have on the court, the floor, in the pool, on the field. I SEE YOU! I see that you need a fair playing field. I see that you need opportunities. I see that you need equal access. I see that you need equipment, field time, qualified trainers, and coaches. I see that it is not fair for someone who is biologically male, with longer leaner muscles, larger heart and lung compacity to come in and take your place on the team, to take your place on the podium, to take your place in the record books. I see you, I support you and I WILL FIGHT FOR YOU!