Autzen event marks national day for women and girls in sport

Young girls playing basketball

The UO will mark the 36th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a free event April 30 at Autzen Stadium.

The Go Do Anything event will offer community members a chance to do fun activities with university student-athletes and staff. It is open to families and children of all genders and will run from 1 to 3 p.m. Registration is now open.

The UO Sport and Wellness Initiative and Women In Flight, part of the Duck Athletic Fund dedicated to raising awareness and financial support for women in sports, are sponsors of the event.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in school and education programs that receive federal funding. It is largely credited with opening opportunities for girls and women in sports.

Since Title IX was ratified in 1972, female participation in high school athletics has increased almost 900 percent, according to a recent National Women’s Law Center report.

“My experience with sports has shaped me into the woman I am today,” said Savannah Siegrist, a beach volleyball student-athlete and co-chair of the leadership group Women of Oregon. “Girls from all walks of life need to have access to a wide variety of sports so they can develop skills and friendship at a deep level. Women in sports need to be highlighted so young girls can see them and aspire to strive for success in every part of their lives.”

Celebrating and supporting girls and women in sport is a central tenet of the Sport and Wellness Initiative, one of the strategic priorities of the Office of the Provost to enhance research and education at the university.

The Go Do Anything event at Autzen is one of many events held this year for National Girls and Women in Sports Day, first federally authorized in 1987 by then-President Ronald Reagan to recognize women in sports.