Please join me at the Santa Barbara Courthouse on Sunday, June 23, noon-1:30 p.m. for a celebration of the 52st anniversary of Title IX, which was a great civil rights breakthrough for girls and women and a great breakthrough in the promotion of athletics for girls!

Competition, physical fitness, teamwork, learning to lose, sportsmanship: all the life skills which competitive sport teaches our children.  Athletics is just as important as academics and the arts to a complete education, because it demands great physical and mental discipline and builds character in so many ways.

I was already in high school when Title IX was signed into law. Sadly, like most girls of my generation, I did not participate in competitive high school athletics. However, girls’ participation in high school sports has increased 10-fold since Title IX’s passage 52 years ago.

Happily, for our family, as part of that sea change both of our daughters were tennis athletes at Dos Pueblos High School.  What great times we had! I can remember it all so vividly: the hard points they won, the tough games they played, the girls they competed against, the times they tried their very hardest. How I cherish these memories! What greater gift can you give your daughters than a high level of skill in a sport they can play for the rest of their lives?

At the June 23 Title IX event, you will hear four amazing speakers tell the stories of some remarkable local Santa Barbara County female athletes. Come hear the stories of a current high school student who is lettering in five sports, a Dos Pueblos alum and 2020 water polo Olympian whose team won the Gold, and veteran Santa Barbara Unified School District PE teacher and coach Christy Lozano. Come and hear beloved local journalist John Zant, who covered local sports for decades for the Santa Barbara News Press. An incredible lineup to celebrate girls and women in sports.

Title IX truly changed everything for girls! We must be vigilant and continue to fight for the hard-won civil rights of girls and women. Mothers, bring your daughters to this positive and inspirational community event, which celebrates sports for our daughters — and granddaughters.

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