Researchers of the Women’s Sports Foundation found that women who participate in sports have long-term health benefits and an overall quality of life beginning at young ages and continuing into their senior years.
The Women’s Sports Foundation was founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King and puts their highest effort to get females more involved in sports across the country. The foundation also works to provide awareness of the sexism in sports nationwide and what people can do about it.
According to the foundation, at www.womenssportsfoundation.org, women in high school who play sports are less likely to be involved in an unwanted pregnancy, more likely to get better grades in school and more likely to graduate than women who do not play sports.
Christina Gentile, a math and secondary education major, believes sports kept her and her teammates out of trouble. “I was randomly drug tested on a monthly basis. I played basketball and softball every year in high school,” Gentile said.
Kristen Longa, currently on the swim team and a special and elementary education major, agrees with Gentile and adds that sports was a great way to help her aggression and stress levels. She agrees that physiologically, sports helped her through some of her troubling times.
A more physiological approach to women and sports includes that women who play sports are known to have higher self-esteem, confidence and a more positive body image. Overall, sports impact lowers depression levels and higher states of physiological well-being.
Gentile believes there is some sexism in the sports world, both professionally and in college. “There is definitely some sexist ideas out there. When I used to play softball, there were so many guys saying it was so easy to hit such a big ball, but what they didn’t know is we used to train using baseballs, and all the girls knew how to hit those, some even better than the guys.”
The foundation believes that women that are not involved in sports are at a disadvantage because of many reasons. These reasons include that teams are chosen based on people’s strengths and competencies rather than who is liked or disliked, the loyalty to teammates and pressure, deadlines and competition.
A freshman liberal arts major, Samantha Creighton, used to play basketball throughout her life. She believes sports can help people in the workplace as well. “The competitiveness is huge in the business world. That’s what people want to see, and I’m ready to go out there and give it to them because of my sport background,” Creighton said.
Posted to the web by Brian Coary