Dr. Donna Lopiano, the Executive Director of the Women’s Sports Foundation will be speaking on Sunday, February 8th, at 9:00am at the University Center Ballroom, 3rd Floor. The cost to attend is $25.00.

The event is sponsored by Committee of Thirty and Seminole Boosters, Inc.

Contact Dr. Cecile Reynaud, 126 Tully Gym or 644-4298, if you would like more information.

What is the Women’s Sports Foundation? The Women’s Sports Foundation is an educational nonprofit (501(c)(3) charity) organization founded in 1974 by tennis legend Billie Jean King so that girls following in her footsteps would not have to face the barriers she faced playing sports.

What is the Foundation’s mission? To ensure equal access to participation and leadership opportunities for all girls and women in sports and fitness.

What are the results of the Foundation’s work? The Foundation’s advocacy efforts have directly affected the amount of scholarship dollars supporting educational opportunities for female student-athletes in the United States. In 1972, women received only $100,000 but now receive more than $372 million a year.

The Foundation’s support of national laws prohibiting sex discrimination has resulted in an increase in high school girls’ varsity sports participation from 1 in 27 in 1972 to 1 in 2.5 girls in 2002.

One of the top five public grant giving women’s funds in the USA, the Foundation distributes $10-20,000 dollars per week to girls’ and women’s sports programs, researchers, student-athletes and leaders in women’s sports.

In the 2000 and 2002 Olympic Games, 41 of the female athletes competing received Travel and Training grants from the Foundation and 12 medals were earned by the grantees.

Why does the Foundation need to exist today with the multitude of opportunities for girls and women in sports? Males have 30% more college sports participation than females and receive $133 million more in athletic scholarship funds each year.

Professional female tennis players receive 37 cents for every dollar a professional male tennis player receives

Women’s sports is only 8% of all print and television sports media coverage (just exceeding horses, dogs, and fishing)

Women represent 44% of coaches of collegiate women’s sports, only 2% of coaches of men’s sports and 16% of athletic director positions.

…For these reasons and many others, there is still much work to be done for girls and women to experience equity in all levels of sports.

Why does the Foundation exist? The Foundation works for equal opportunity for our daughters to play sports so they too can derive the psychological, physiological and sociological benefits of sports participation.

High school girls who play sports are less likely to be involved in an unintended pregnancy; more likely to get better grades in school; and more likely to graduate than girls who do not play sports.

Girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression.

Sport is where one can learn about teamwork, goal setting, and the pursuit of excellence. In an economic environment where the quality of our life is dependent on two-income families, our daughters cannot be less prepared for the highly competitive workplace than our sons.

80% of the female executives at Fortune 500 companies identified themselves as former “tomboys” — having played sports.

The Foundation works to afford females equal opportunity to work and be volunteer leaders in sports organizations and the sports industry.

Is the Foundation a trade association? No. However, the Foundation is considered to be “the voice” of women’s sports — an umbrella organization serving and “speaking for” women in all sports, all ages and all skill levels. The Foundation is a clearinghouse for all research and information on women’s sports and is quoted regularly in the New York Times, CNN and USA Today; generating 1.5 billion media impressions annually on women’s sports issues.

Why give to the Foundation? The Foundation is meeting a critical need. The request for a gift is an invitation to join in an entrepreneurial social change venture, an opportunity to invest in the health, empowerment and success of women through sport. When we expand participation and leadership opportunities for girls and women in sport, these experiences pay dividends in the form of a stronger, more vital community in which women display courage, confidence and resilience.