At Oiselle, we feel like every day is Girls and Women in Sports Day! We live it, we breathe it, wear it, and we get outside and run it. We also know that too many women and girls don’t have the access or the freedom to participate in sports. And that for many, the path from girl to woman in sports is rocky. And that motivates us to just. keep. going.
I hadn’t heard of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, so I had to look it up.
“National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) began in 1987 as a special day in our nation’s capital to recognize women’s sports…GWSD has since evolved into an event to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, the positive influence of sports participation and the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.”
In 1987 I was just graduating HS and beginning my stint as a collegiate athlete, and I really had no understanding of the relative newness of my opportunity, nor the history of the women who had paved the way for me.
I think one of my jobs in life (and at Oiselle) is to tell the stories of women and girls, to draw the connecting line between the past, present, and future. Some of my recent favorites to celebrate are below.
1. Women’s sport milestone achievers (sub-4:30 milers and sub-2:30 marathoners), the trailblazers and community builders (High Flyers), and Abby Wambach who reminds us to bring who we are to sport: We Are the Wolves!
2. Women talking publicly about normal body development and variations (Allie), and how the female trajectory in sport is different than male trajectory (Lauren Fleshman). Girls challenging the narrative in real time (Maya Stovall) regarding “fast” girls in sport:
“The media…needs to shift its narrative on growth in high school girls. We need to realize that while we may encounter slumps, periods of declined performance don't necessarily mean a failed career, they mean we are growing into faster and stronger people.”
and girls who reject the pressure (Claudia Lane) of the external gaze on their sports journey.
3. Fighters for diversity and inclusion. Body positivity (Cassie), team-building (Courtney), making the outdoors accessible for all (Unlikely Hikers). Dia&Co, who not only make great size 14+ sports apparel but are sponsoring elite athletes like Shelbi Vaughan.
5. Bras for Girls! Our beloved Oiselle program that shares breast development education and donates bras to middle school girls in need. We’ve donated over 5,000 bras so far, and we’re just getting started! Please nominate a recipient program here!
In celebration of NGWSD 2019, share your stories and celebrate those who are working for progress! There is always more to do.