By J1 Reporter Mallory Connealy
Emma Prososki dribbles in a game against westside. Courtesy of Emma Prososki.
A huge step for gender equality was taken in June of 1972. A law was passed called Title IX which prohibited the exclusion of participation, and discrimination on the basis of sex in athletics. Title IX gave women the opportunity to compete in sports at the high school and the collegiate level.
With this new law, women were given more opportunities to be awarded scholarships for athletics and academics. The passing of Title IX greatly increased the number of women participating in sports.
At Marian, Nebraska’s only Class A college prep school for girls, students were eligible to participate in sports beginning in the year 1973. Today, more than 40% of students participate in one of the 11 sports now offered. Unique sports such as wrestling, swim and dive and golf are offered to create a variety in order to spark the interest of individuals.
Even for students who don’t play a sport, there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved with the athletic programs. Whether that means supporting on side lines or managing a team in season, all students have the opportunity to express their school pride while being involved in athletics in some aspect. “It is really fun seeing students get into school spirit by dressing up for game days and coming out to support the athletic teams,” senior soccer player Emma Prososki said.
Prososki is about to compete in her fourth consecutive Varsity Soccer season. The varsity team is one of the top competing girls’ soccer teams in the state. Through the ability to participate in a sport, “I found my place at Marian,” Prososki said.
Sports offer an outlet for students outside of the constant academic pressure. Being involved in a sport at Marian not only means that a student is competing against the highest level of competition in the state as a Class A school, but it also provides an extremely close bond between teammates and ensures a trusting community of people much like a family.
Title IX was especially important for Marian as an all girls school. Prior to the law, Marian did not offer any competitive sports in the school’s name, therefore leaving the school with a lack of Crusader pride. “The overall competitiveness at Marian generates school spirit and I take pride in representing my school through athletics,” Prososki said. Although sports do not solely establish the dignity of a school, they are prominent factors in promoting a sense of honor and pride for attending students. Girls could compete in recreational leagues before 1972, but it was nothing like it is today.
The current high level of athletic participation through the student body exemplifies the importance of maintaining a law, such as Title IX, that encourages young women to confidently partake in activities that not too long ago were deemed to be unfit for women that wanted to retain the characteristic of being “ladylike.”
Altering gender norms forever, Title IX gave women the opportunity to prove their right for equality and capabilities to those of the opposite gender. At Marian, especially where there are no male students present, sports provide young women in attendance the opportunity to flourish as confident and independent leaders.
The athletic programs removed class divisions by creating a unified school through pride within the participation of sports. Without Title IX, women today would not have equal opportunity to compete in sports and at Marian specifically, there would be lack of school pride as well as a lack of individual confidence and a sense of communal unity would not reside.