RALEIGH--Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the amendment that established an equal playing field for female athletes.
Under the law, women’s sports programs must get the same opportunities as male athletes in any educational institution that receives federal funding.
Training is a full-time job for nationally ranked cross county star, Savannah Lips, who helped her team at Green Hope High School in Cary earn a state championship.
“It’s a big, big commitment because you have to practice every day,”said Lips.
Passion, drive, and competition are factors that trigger her classmates Alexis Degler, Julie Hagan, and Rayna Yvars, who are all standouts in their own sports.
“It’s like mentally challenging too, so even if you mess up, you have to be able to get right back up again, so it helps and carries over in school,” said pole vaulter Rayna Yvars.
Today’s female athletes can’t imagine a law preventing them from participating in state championships, but that was the case in the 1950's, a time when many girls cheered from the sideline and few played on the field.
The passage of Title IX in 1972 opened the door for more sports teams and athletes.
“I was one of the lucky ones, I was a product of Title IX, and I had opportunities to play basketball and all sports from a young age,” said North Carolina State University women’s basketball coach, Kellie Harper.
Today’s athletes are inspired to dream big, and the lessons athletes learn playing sports makes every dream within reach.