Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Title IX Celebration

Last Thursday the women of Ohio Northern (and a few brave men) celebrated 40 years of Title IX. We all gathered in the gym at 11 a.m., proudly sporting black t-shirts that read Ohio Northern Women's Athletics (thank you Coach Witte). At one time or another we all have heard what Title IX was about, but I can speak for many when I say until that presentation I had no idea how important is was to me. Title IX states,

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

It's hard to imagine a time when men and women didn't have the same athletic privileges at the college level. For so many female athletes the dream of playing a collegiate sport was crushed at a very young age. Women were supposed to go to college to become a teacher, nurse or homemaker, not an All-American outside hitter aspiring to be doctor. Today, because of Title IX, those dreams are possible. 'Title IX: Sporting Chance' highlighted some of the great pioneers who helped fight for female athletes' rights, as did Coach Witte about Ohio Northern's own. We all stand on the shoulders of Sheila Wallace-Kovalchik, Helen Ludwig and Gayle Lauth. Without them most of us wouldn't be here. Without their sacrifices, hard work and tenacity we wouldn't be able to discover what being a team is all about. We owe so much to these women.  

Coach Witte always reminds us of how we are a part of something greater than ourselves. Being a part of Ohio Northern athletics is an honor, a privilege and should never be taken for granted. Thursday's celebration was truly a humbling experience and a perfect reminder of why being a part of an ONU athletic team is something special, something to be cherished and something greater than ourselves.

Words from Jeni Kmic, junior libero

Banner hanging during the Title IX presentation. This banner will be passed among all of the female athletic teams to be hung at their respective sporting events.

Dr. Dan speaking at the presentation, along with Coach Witte in the background. Both shared few inspirational and moving words with the audience.

Few of the volleyball girls at the presentation.  Photo moment! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks you Jeni for the words about Title IX. Very well written and presented. I remember back when I was in high school(yes I can remember that far) that girls only competition was cheerleading and GAA(Girls Athletic Association). GAA was nothing more than intramurals. In this area of our society we have made giant strives toward equality of opprotunity. With such a rich tradition created before you at ONU, now seems be the time for the present Polar Bear Volleyball team to reap these opprotunities provided by your previous foremothers, grab the torch and move to greater heights. Tradition is always ongoing. Go BEARS!