I was never much of a player, especially in sports. My father signed me up for private tennis lessons when I was around eight (he was a great tennis player and probably thought it would be nice to volley with me at some point), but I hated taking them. I was, in a word, a klutz. Not agile. Not speedy. Not especially coordinated. I did enjoy volleyball for a time, but got bored with that.
Girls weren’t encouraged to play many sports back in the day. The general consensus was that we were the weaker sex, at least when it came to physical activity. Even if we wanted to be on teams, most schools weren’t interested. Title IX changed that. Signed into law, in 1972, by President Richard Nixon, the act prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity, within an institution receiving any type of Federal financial assistance.
We’ve come a long way, baby. The US Women’s National Soccer Team is set to play the Japanese team in the World Cup final on Sunday. I wouldn’t have known a soccer ball if I fell over it in gym class in the sixties.
Congratulations to our young women. And hip hip hooray to FOF Pia Mariane Sundhage, a Swedish former professional footballer who is the head coach of the US Women’s National Team. You are definitely ON THE BALL.