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Posts Tagged ‘sport’

I read something interesting today on a popular male sports blog, With Leather.

This news certainly caught my attention, but this blogger’s opinion left me a bit less than thrilled. (Check out the picture to the right for example A)

According to the Wall Street Journal, because fewer and fewer men are going hunting, the sport has started to target women.

Apparently, they’re trying everything from “pink guns to gender-specific hunting courses.” Also, they’re looking for hunting spokeswomen, creating specially-tailored weapons, such as lighter crossbows and apparel makers such as SHE Safari and Foxy Huntress LLC are marketing camouflage expressly to women.

With Leather mentioned that womenhunters.com offers support.

Now, of course, since With Leather is so deeply involved in casting opinion on some of the world’s greatest athletes, you’d expect him to make an intelligent comment from all of this, right?

Wrong. Think again.

Here’s what With Leather had to say:

“First of all, do NOT waste your time at WomenHunters.com.  I went there expecting tips on hunting women, and it left a lot to be desired.  Why can’t I get a little support here?  I’ve been targeting women for years, and the Wall Street Journal hasn’t written dick about me.  I can’t even get a license.  Apparently hunting women is only legal in Ohio and Texas.”

Ah, how refreshed and inspired I feel from reading that.

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I know I’m a few days late on this, but I definitely want to address this. Happy 36th birthday to Title IX, the federal law granting girls and women in high schools and colleges the right to equal opportunity in sports.

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.”

But the greatest visible impact Title IX has made in our society is seen in sports. Since its passage on June 23, 1972,  female athletes across the national have been competing at levels we’d never thought possible.

But as women, we need to protect what we have fought for. The battle continues in Congress to ensure Title IX remains strong and effective.

Further, we need to support this legislation at a stronger level. It needs to be tested in our nation’s high schools. Send a message to your congressional representative though the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Together, we can fight for we have, and change what we will become. Happy Birthday Title IX. If you didn’t exist, my life would be drastically different.

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Once an athlete, always an athlete. You never lose it. Your entire life, you have certain values ingrained in you that make you who you are. Teamwork, goal-setting, discipline, competitiveness, leadership, fair play… we all know how it works.

So when a friend of mine sent me a link for a feature by Curve magazine which profiles women over the age of 30 who are becoming amateur athletes, I wasn’t at all surprised.

The piece is entitled “All American Girls,” and profiles women over the age of 30 who are becoming amateur athletes in sports they’re trying for the first time. From surfing and power lifting to flag football and rugby, the stories of these women should inspire all of us to leave our fears and doubts about injuries and time commitments behind and take to the fields of games we’ve been itching to try since we were young. They might not be professionals, but as far as athletic competition is concerned, it’s just the beginning.

One of these profiles really caught my eye, and it’s about Mona Rayside who plays in a rugby club in Washington, DC.

Mona Rayside is 30 years old and has been playing rugby since 1991. Although rugby has been famously dubbed “the barbarian’s sport played by gentlemen,” it started attracting ladies in the mid-1970s and now rivals softball for popularity. Rayside plays for the Maryland Stingers, one of the top women’s club teams in the nation.

Rayside likes the sport because it resembles “female power.” She says, “When I started playing, it was a revelation, because all of a sudden people were excited to see a big ol’ girl come on the field,” she recalls, a smile in her voice. “Rugby … helped me recognize and find my own strength, and to realize that I was physically strong and that that was something to be desired.”

As a basketball player, one of the aspects about Rugby that I am particularly jealous of is the sense of community among its players, or, “ruggers.” First, they’re tough people in general. To go out there and take a hit with no padding on has GOT to hurt. But they encourage each other to get right back up and keep playing.

Second, after the match, they DRINK (party + eat) with their opponents! Often dubbed a “drink up,” this great tradition ingrains sportsmanship and respect for the sport in each of the athletes.

Third, I love the sense of community. I am jealous of the clubs set up for those of us out of college in cities around the world. These serve as “families” of sort (much like my college basketball team was for me). It’s a great way to meet people and have fun. I miss that sense of community, and having moved to a new city, I wish I had it here. Unfortunately, when it comes to basketball, it seems that level of organization seems to dissipate after college.

Although I’d love to try it, I don’t have the time to commit to learning rugby right now. And I don’t think or want to think that I’d enjoy taking a hit that hard.

Plus, my “love” is with basketball. My community is found among basketball players, or “ballers.” I’ve been playing the sport competitively since I was about six years old.

With the overwhelming national popularity of women’s basketball, I really wish there would be more formalized “clubs” that we could join and participate in as adults . I’m not talking about just rec leagues. I’m talking about clubs, membership-oriented communities of adults who fund raise, practice on a regular basis and travel to play in tournaments on the weekends in various cities.

Ballers, where are we? It’s time to get organized. Maybe we can learn a few things from our “rugger” friends.

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