The world of women in athletics

Focusing more on women in sports


Photo by Jackie Johnson

As she stands in the auditorium head girls soccer coach Jaqueline Tevis-Butler speaks to several Millard West athletes about women in leadership. On Thursday, Feb. 3, Tevis-Butler discussed the anniversary of Title IX. “I think one of the things we can also do is continue to advertise and celebrate the possibilities, teamwork, sense of belonging and support you get being a part of an athletic team in high school,” Tevis-Butler said. “One thing we’ve been doing the last 2-3 years is visiting the middle schools more often to talk to the younger girls who are thinking of quitting their sport in general.”

Riley Kramolisch, Staff Reporter

Women. Although it may seem small, the effect women have on society is immense. Many women have taken charge in the change for the equality for women, especially in sports. The number of girls participating in high school athletics has increased 990% since 1972.  The number participating in collegiate athletics has increased by 540% since 1972. With this, there still could be more attention brought to female sports. 

Throughout the country women have been fighting for equal rights for centuries. Here at Millard West, change has started. In early February, a Title IX seminar was held to discuss women’s leadership in sports, and in clubs like Athletic Leadership and Justice and Diversity League, women’s leadership has been a huge topic. For Superbowl LVI, Billie Jean King flipped the coin toss for the annual 50th anniversary for Title IX. Teachers and leaders like head girl’s soccer coach Jaqueline Tevis-Butler have had a huge impact on the amount of attention girls sports get and the participation from female athletes by participating in events like the Title IX seminar.

“Data demonstrates that the interest both boys and girls show in sports at younger ages is essentially equal,” Tevis-Butler said. “However, girls tend to quit sports earlier than boys, specifically starting at late elementary and middle school age. People tend to go to the games for our boys teams more than the girls. If we had an even stronger alliance between all of our athletes, this may encourage other students to attend more games in general.”

Many female athletes participate in their sports for a few years in high school, but the majority of them never make it to their senior year. There is a greater majority of male athletes that compete in their sports for all four years than women do.

At many schools in the metro, the attention for female sports is there, but is minimal and the male sports get more attention. Looking at a bigger school like Millard West to a smaller school like Auburn, you can see there is more support in the smaller communities, looking at social media pages like Twitter. When you look at the crowds that male sports bring in compared to female sports, the difference is drastic.

“I do think there should be more attention with female sports in high school because every team loves to have support from their classmates, teachers etc,” softball player and senior Ava Rongisch said. “That’s the fun part about high school is getting to compete in front of your community.”

Although the attention for female sports in the high school communities is small, there has been an immense increase in the opportunities for women to continue their sports at the next level. In the last year college softball has now been broadcasted on television, and women’s soccer has been live on many different stations.

 “I do think now there are plenty of opportunities for women to excel in their sports especially since there has become a great variety of training centers and club sports teams,” basketball player and senior Gwyneth Stocker said. “I do feel though that women in sports, especially sports that are more physical and male dominated like wrestling or golf for example, are viewed as more masculine and less feminine which oftentimes isn’t the case.”

As communities around the world progress the sports industry grows so does the attention of female sports. Although it seems like there is a bare amount of focus on them right now, compared to the 1970s there have been huge improvements in the media and in schools.