In 1960 girls didn’t have much opportunity to participate in team sports. And the few opportunities available wouldn’t allow a girl to be anything but a lady-so I bowled in a skirt.
Title IX, passed in 1972, made it possible for girls to participate in school athletic programs. Since I graduated in 1965, it was never an option for me, or any other girl, to participate in a team sport in high school. So, I did what any energetic young woman would do in 1960-I bowled. My dad bowled every week in a league and was most pleased that I was going to give it a try. Imagine our surprise when it turns out that I was pretty good at it.
Over time, I got really good at it. My final year I won a most prized trophy-Hi Series. It was for 3 games totaling more than 500. I’ve kept it all these years as a reminder that I can do hard things. AND I can do it in a skirt.
Oklahoma Junior Bowling Congress
500 in 3 game series
Through the years, women have donned more appropriate garb for sporting activities. And Title IX allowed little girls to learn early to play soccer, for example. They learned that being strong and running fast could empower them-not to make them more like a boy-but to make them the strongest little girls they could be.
Mia Hamm, victor in the World Cup in 1999, celebrated by ripping off her shirt. It was a gesture seen around the world, and proclaimed to all-that women’s sports had arrived.