This Wednesday, athletes, sports enthusiasts, students, parents, athletic directors, and coaches will gather at events around the country to honor women and girls in sports - and bring awareness to the lack of equality that still exists for female athletes.
February 1, 2012, marks the 26th annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD,) an event that began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to promote equality for women's sports.
Hyman, who died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan, was a major advocate for getting girls involved in sports from a young age, citing the positive influence of sports participation on a girl's life. Hyman also struggled for equality and access for all women in sports.
The theme for this year's NGWSD is "Title IX at 40: In it for the Long Run," in recognition of the fact that even though girls have come a long way in sports achievements, high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than do boys, and evidence suggests that the money spent on girls' sports programs lags significantly behind the money spent on boys' programs.