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Posts Tagged ‘Women’s Sports Foundation’

Each week, I will be featuring Her Sports Rounds, a blog round-up of the best postings on women’s sports.

From stories of the best athletes to funny YouTube videos and Presidential nominees’ comments on Title IX, the women’s sports blogosphere brought a lot of great information to the table this week!

Sheila Weaver over at She Loves Sports reports on Europe’s sports woman of the year, Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva.

At the Athletic Women Blog, Rob Mars posts a video of female athletes (namely Vicki Unus) in the circus from the 1960’s. Totally cool!

Over at C and R’s Stanford Women’s Basketball Blog, there are some funny YouTube videos that made me laugh – and wish I were somewhere near Stanford to see their games. My favorite is the Media Day video, found here.

Over at The Final Sprint, U.S. middle distance runner Sara Hall blogs about how she is re-inspired and motivated to start a new season.

Over at the Title IX blog, Kris discusses Senator McCain’s comment on Title IX and his concern for popular athletic programs that have been cut due to the need for equal funding for male and female athletic programs. Kris says,

“I have yet to see (though would be happy to) an athletic department that is equally funding its men’s and women’s programs.”

At Pretty Tough, Jane Schonberger praises Sports Illustrated for Faces in the Crowd, which covers females and males equally (shocker – because this publication usually doesn’t). Jane says,

“In addition to featuring athletes in sports such as soccer, volleyball and cross country, the magazine highlights girls who are participating in less traditional pursuits.”

Over at Women Like Sports, in her “Tales from the Inbox” post, Apryl Delancey discusses Lyndsey D’Arcangelo‘s new book, The Trouble with Emily Dickinson, and the Women’s Sports Foundation’s V is for Victory video campaign.

At the Women’s Hoops blog, Steve posts about Northwestern’s new coach Joe McKeown. Steve says, “seems to me he’s a good fit for the place.”

Over at the Women’s Sports blog, they discuss how Lorena Ochoa was featured in the Mexican version of British gossip mag Hello!. They say,

“It gives  lie to the yammerers who keep insisting she’s not that popular in the U.S. because she’s ‘unattractive,’ while at the same time emphasizes stereotypical class privilege and femininity at the expense of being real.  Ah, the magazine industry.”

– If I missed a great blog post, please be sure to add it to the comments below!

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I’ve been seeing more and more of this V is for Victory campaign flying around the blogosphere. For example, it can be found on one of my favorite bloggers’ sites, Women Like Sports.

The Women’s Sports Foundation is sponsoring/pioneering this campaign – which I completely support. (Hell – anything is something, right?)

Essentially, these are a series of videos dedicated toward getting girls to recognize if their schools are in compliance with Title IX regulations. Which is extremely important. But it can be done better.

I have to be a little bit critical of its transparency and its lack of digital creativity.

1) WSF should have their name all over it – should be completely transparent that this is where these messages are coming from.

2) The URL should not be confusing (which it is). Vis4victory.org. Wow. It’s far easier to just remember womenssportsfoundation.org. Why not create a micro site with its own (non-confusing) URL? Why is that so difficult? I mean, if you’re going to spring the $ for the video, why not spring for a place it can live permanently?

3) The videos (although true) are a bit unrealistic. Sometimes the inequity isn’t as obvious as these videos make them out to be. Case studies and testimonials would work much better. (not sure of legal issues surrounding that)

4) The questions in WSF’s poll are completely directed toward parents. This needs to change. The girls (themselves) should be answering these questions. It makes girls seem like passive watchers instead of active participants.

5) This campaign needs to be interactive (similar to Gonzaga’s inspired season). Why not have the poll in the video? Why not make this a YouTube video? Why doesn’t WSF create a YouTube video channel and hold contests for girls (i.e., best sports moment caught on film)? The possibilities are endless here.

I hope WSF is watching – and paying attention. Their campaigns could go so much further if the right perspectives were brought in.

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Perry Lee Barber is one of the first female umpires in baseball history. Today, she’s sharing her story – and it’s a great one.

Women everywhere should listen.

An interview with Barber is posted on the Women’s Sports Foundation. Also, you can read Barber’s commentary on her personal blog, Officially speaking…

The interview on WSF is awesome – discusses how she grew to love Baseball (which is evident on Officially speaking…). She also mentions how the idea of umpiring came from her mother’s encouragement. (love it!) WSF writer Kelsey J. Koenen says,

“Barber’s work as a professional baseball umpire has blazed a trail for women umpires and begun to chip away at one of the last sports careers presumed to be reserved for men.”

This is evident in the picture at the left-hand side of this post (below). In that picture, the University of Michigan head coach and Mets manager were meet at home plate during a February spring training game with the first all-woman umpiring crew: Perry Lee Barber, Ila Valcarcel, Theresa Fairlady and Mona Osborne.

SO COOL!

But the journey to this point in time has not been easy. Barber mentions that she often feels alone in an occupation dominated by men.

WSF reports,

“At times, it was daunting, especially as a female, and the need to be confident and aggressive was vital. Soon Barber realized the good ball players learn control and claim their own power, not giving it to the umpire, who, Barber said, is merely a “conduit through which things flow.””

And when you’re alone, it helps to have some support. With more than 20 years of experience behind her, Barber has built a support network for female umpires. As WSF says, “Barber’s network continues to grow, and her plans are nowhere near through.” Barber says,

“I want to make sure there’s a mechanism in place by the time I die,” Barber said, “that women have of reaching out and finding and encouraging one another to view umpiring as a possibility in their lives, as one that’s fun and rewarding and that might eventually lead to one or more becoming major league umpires.”

I love this idea – and appreciate the fact that Barber is thinking beyond her own needs and situation toward a future of other women umpires.

Personally, I think her network should start on the blogosphere. She should encourage female umpires to create their own blogs and network online. That way, friendships and alliances can be built throughout the country and their voices will be heard. (Opposers will think twice before casting their public opinions when they know these ladies have blogs and online networks.)

Regardless, I’d like to wish Barber the best of luck. What she’s doing is truly special and means a lot to female athletes (and future umpires) everywhere.

More information can be found at perrybarber.com.

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Jennie Finch, Jessica Mendoza and the USA softball team will be at the Sports Museum in New York city this Monday.

They will be meeting sports fans and signing autographs from 11am-1pm. This is a unique opportunity, so if you’re in the area and have off on Columbus day (or even if you don’t) you should go check this out!

Also present will be Kym Hampton and John Starks of the New York Knicks; the duo will be meeting fans, signing autographs and holding a basketball clinic from 1pm-3pm.

I’ve never been to the Sports Museum, and unfortunately, I have to work on Monday.

However, I am definitely planning on making a trip up there because they are home to the first and only Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, built in partnership with Billie Jean King’s Women’s Sports Foundation.

Can’t wait to see it!

If anyone goes to this event, please post how it was. I’m interested in hearing about it.

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I read an interesting article this morning on the Wall Street Journal’s Law page about the Women’s Sports Foundation’s report on gender, money and sports.

This WSJ article provides two unique perspectives: one from Title IX’s biggest opposer, the College Sports Council,  and one from an unbiased researcher.

The major finding of the WSF report was that women continue to be significantly underrepresented among college athletes.

CSC is completely against Title IX and accuses the WSF report of being flawed, claiming Title IX cuts men’s sports. Fact is, they’re wrong. They can’t deny the fact that men have more opportunities than women athletically.

Judging by yesterday’s comment on my blog post, I’d say CSC is likely paying people to non-transparently go onto blogs and post opinions about this. BAD MOVE, CSC.

John Cheslock, a researcher from the University of Arizona, couldn’t have said it any better,

“The CSC took NCAA figures and made a simplistic adjustment,” Mr. Cheslock said. “They really should be called into question for that.”

I can’t agree more.

Eric Pearson, chairman of the CSC, I think it’s time for you to SIT DOWN.

Oh, and just so you know, paying people to go on blogs and comment in your favor is not ethical.

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The Women’s Sports Foundation is holding a poll/contest on their Web site to select two champion athletes (one team, one individual) for their Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Award winners will be announced on October 14, 2008, and honored at the Annual Salute to Women in Sports Awards Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Cast your vote by midnight, September 2, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of five items autographed by your favorite sportswomen.

The nominees for the “team” category are:
– Patty Cisneros
– Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova
– Sandra Kiriasis
– Jessica Mendoza
– Hannah Nielsen
– Candace Parker
– Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh
– Marta Vieira da Silva
– Hayley Wickenheiser
– Venus and Serena Williams

The nominees for the “individual” category are:
– Mao Asada
– Veronica Campbell-Brown
– Natalie Coughlin
-Ashley Fiolek
– Allison Fisher
– Yelena Isinbayeva
– Nastia Liukin
– Lorena Ochoa
– Lindsey Vonn
– Rebecca Ward

I guess I’m a fan of the Olympics (or that’s what’s on the top of my mind) because I voted for Misty-May Treanor for the “team” category and Nastia Liukin for the “individual” category. I know the contest is based on more than just Olympic performances, but I just couldn’t help myself.

I encourage everyone to vote!!!

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Check out this video of Donna Lopiano, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation. In this clip, she explains why media networks do not support women’s sports as much as men’s.
“It has no relation to public interest,” Dr. Lopiano says, “and our only hope lies in the digital universe.”
THANK YOU DONNA!
Like I said before, the only hope for coverage of women’s sports is in the digital universe, and I believe the answer lies right here in the blogosphere. We just need to build our community.

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