We Are Westridge
A community blog featuring Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor, the Westridge Leadership Team, our esteemed faculty members and occasional special guests
Sports Headlines Missing Girl Athletes
As a female athlete who had been in a variety of publications as a high school basketball and volleyball player, it never dawned on me that girls and women weren’t covered adequately in sports media. When I arrived to play basketball at UCLA, I then began to note the disparity between coverage in the Daily Bruin and, more importantly, the Los Angeles Times.
Fast forward a few decades to a time when girls high school sports scores are no longer mentioned in print, professional women’s sports are selling out arenas and major sports publications aren’t covering National finals (e.g. WNBA). Forty-plus years after Title IX, with more than 40 percent of all athletes being women, coverage is at an all-time low at less than 4 percent of print, television and Internet media attention being given to girls/women in sports.
Igniting my passion about this bleak reality was a recent documentary on KCET by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport. The program can be found at: http://video.tpt.org/video/2365132906/ I encourage you to take an hour and view the reality of the inequity for female athletes.
One of the most important things Westridge does for girls is to foster the development of their individual voices, and this is so true in athletics. It is wonderful to be in an environment where girls athletics comes first, for resources and attention. It is heartening that all media coverage for our girls – whether athletics or theatre, music, speech and debate, or the Science Olympiad – focuses on the accomplishments of girls. It seems commonplace at Westridge, but not so common outside our walls. This is one lesson in developing a voice that our students can collectively help us carry forward.
Melanie Horn, Director of Athletics
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