Wait…. What about us?

Some would say that sports are the center of our entertainment, the center of our society.

But I want to ask you, when I ask you to think of a sport, what comes to mind? Football, basketball, baseball?

What about the best athletes? Payton Manning, Lebron James, Jackie Robinson?

But wait.

Where in that do the women come in?

Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey, Alex Morgan.

Would you have even thought about them if I hadn’t mentioned their names?

On many levels, there is a gap in gender and sports.

Especially in those male dominated sports.

Sports where men have traditionally been the only ones participating. But now, times are changing. Women want to participate. They want to compete. And they want to be seen doing so.

I will say that yes, women’s sports are still new in comparison, and that can account for that gap, but often times, the governing body is another reason; if not the biggest reason.

The NCAA is the governing body of all college athletics, and it contributes to a huge gap in the inequality of coverage, promotion, and popularity of women’s sports.

Take basketball for example…

The NCAA hypes up mens basketball considerably more than it does women’s basketball. The National tournament is the height of the entire basketball season for both genders, however, it is more highly publicized on the mens side.

“March Madness”. It is probably one of the most talked about sporting events in all of college sports, but yet do you ever hear about the women’s tournament? Perhaps occasionally, but nowhere near on the same level.

So what about us?

The women.

What do we have to do to get our competitions seen?

We need to keep competing, keep working hard, and keep fighting for equality in sport.

Maybe one day the NCAA will take notice and level the playing field. Maybe they will give women’s sports the publicity it needs to continue to grow.

However on the contrary, there are some governing bodies have done a good job at trying to create equality.

The governing body of sports in California; California Interscholastic Federation or CIF has done just that. In an effort to be forward thinking and in response to the rapid growth of women’s wrestling, the CIF sanctioned the men’s and women’s state meet to be on the same day, in the same venue, with the same fans, awards and publicity that comes with this prestigious tournament. The CIF has also done this for basketball, track and field, and many other sports.

So it can be done.

Now why isn’t the NCAA doing this? Perhaps it all comes down to money? Maybe it’s in the works? Only time will tell.

Until then, we need to keep fighting to bridge the gap.

Women in Sport

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Pictured: Megan Rapinoe, Liz Cambage, & Katie Sowers

Women in sport.

Lately that has been a highly discussed topic all around the world, and especially today as it is National Women and Girls in Sport Day.

According to the Women’s Sports Foundation website, this day is to celebrate and empower women in all sports.

In all levels of sport, women are breaking through and making names for themselves, and it is mainly seen in high school, and even professional sports. Big things are happening around the world as women fight for equality, and make history in sport.

The USA Women’s National Soccer team was a big buzz months ago around the World Cup as they filed a lawsuit against USA Soccer fighting for equality. They are a powerhouse team and have been for years, and like was stated in this article, this lawsuit has “thrust them to the forefront of a broader fight for equality in women’s sport.”

The WNBA recently proposed a contract that not only raised the salary cap for players, but also offered paid maternity leave as well. This article speaks to the notion that the WNA also wants to help “lead the way” to help push for equality in sport.

With the 49ERs participation last Sunday, they had the first ever female coach in the Super Bowl. Katie Sowers is one of the Offensive assistance coaches for the San Francisco 49ERs, and according to this article, she had “always wanted to be a part of a NFL football team”, and now she is not only doing that, but excelling in that role.

Now on to wrestling.

In North America, women’s wrestling is THRIVING!

This article discusses how even though participation in high school sports in the United States is down, participation in girls wrestling is up by 30%. Even with only 20/50 states with women’s wrestling as a high school sanction sport.

In a primarily male dominated sport, women’s involvement has increased immensely, on all levels.

Against all odds, the women persevere.

Being a woman in wrestling is hard… There are many barriers that they have already and still need to overcome. However, there are many women paving the way for that. There are now well recognized women in the world of wrestling; Adeline Gray, Helen Maroulis and many others. These women are now role models that other women and girls in the sport of wrestling can look up to.

These among MANY others are the ones who help girls realize their potential, and help them to stay motivated in the sport. So today as National Women and Girls in Sport Day, we thank these women who have paved the way, and continue to excel so that the younger generation can do so as well.

We thank them, today and everyday.

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Pictured: Adeline Gray & Helen Maroulis

The Sport of Wrestling

Wrestling.

What is it really?

It is such a widely loved sport, and yet it is so different for everyone.

To some, wrestling is a hobby.

To others it is a sport.

And to some a career.

Every year, more and more children sign up to wrestle. (And in the United States, girls wrestling is the fastest growing sport.)

Every team gains new members.

Every tournament gets bigger.

Wrestling is one of those things that sticks with you. There is just something about it. Maybe it’s the fact that it is so raw, and so individual. Everything that happens out there on the mat is you. Every takedown you get, every point you score, and even every point that is scored against you. Every win, every loss, that is all you. No one else.

Your teammates and coaches can only do so much in practice to help to prepare you, but when it comes time, there is no one out there competing alongside you. Its just you out there.

That’s what makes it unlike every other sport.

It was once said by one of the wrestling greats, Dan Gable, “Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” This rings true on so many levels as wrestling can be seen as a metaphor for life.

There are ups and downs, and though you are doing it all by yourself, you have the support of others. However, you have to deal with what happens to you, and you have to get back up when you get knocked down and you have to keep trying.

The characteristics you learn and the habits you form ripple throughout the rest of your life. Hard work, integrity, discipline, courage, camaraderie, and so much more. The memories you make and the relationships you forge last a lifetime.

So what really is wrestling?

It’s so much more than just a sport…

It is a lifestyle.