Mystics Celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day

The Washington Mystics recognize the 27th anniversary of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb. 6) with a week-long celebration.

Red Rocker Leslie on NGWSD Celebration

By Leslie
Friday, Febuary 8, 2013

Sports have always been an important aspect of my life. While growing up I played basketball and soccer. I played soccer competitively all year round. Basketball was more of a secondary sport that I played mostly for fun. My biggest role model growing up was Mia Hamm because she was such an extraordinary athlete and very talented at soccer. My dad would always take my sisters and me to watch her play. Mia Hamm was someone I always looked up to. Read on...

Ilana Okafor on NGWSD Celebration

By Ilana Okafor
Thursday, Febuary 7, 2013

Growing up, my hobbies included tap dancing and playing piano. I never actually played organized sports. But somewhere along the way, through the dance recitals and piano concerts, I became a die-hard sports fan.

I grew up the daughter of a former athlete. Dad pounded the pavement of the street basketball courts in New York City and eventually became a member of the All-Century Mens Basketball team at George Washington University after an impressive college career with the Colonials. Years after Dad hung up his hightops and began a career in education, the hardwood came calling, once again. Read on...

Coach Thibault on NGWSD Celebration

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wizard Girl Emily on NGWSD Celebration

By Emily
Tuesday, Febuary 5, 2013

In truth, I nearly cried when my father loaned our Washington Post copy of Michael Jordans Dear Basketball retirement letter to my grandparents. Athletics have always been a tradition in my family and I would attribute it to my love of many sports. My father played football in college and my uncle played baseball in college. On the same side of the family, I have an aunt who swam in the Olympics and another who has completed two Ironman triathlons. So to say a family game of basketballs knock out does not get slightly competitive, would be a fib. Nevertheless, growing up involved in sports has taught me invaluable lessons and skills that have transcended beyond the field, court, or competition floor and into both the classroom and workplace. Read on...

Jasmine Thomas on NGWSD Celebration

By Jasmine Thomas
Monday, Febuary 4, 2013

I grew up in an era where Title IX had been passed, established and extended. Therefore, playing sports was always something I took for granted. As a child, I went from gym to gym watching my brother play basketball but he wasnt the only athlete I knew of. I had classmates and cousins who also played various sports for local recreation centers or AAU programs. When I finally took an interest in playing basketball not one person told me I couldnt or judged me for wanting to try. In fact, when people realized that I was talented they encouraged me to become more serious and pursue the sport long-term since the WNBA had become a notable professional league. Read on...

Highlights in Women's Sports History:
1855 - The first modern game of hockey was played in Kingston, Ontario reflecting the same rules used today.
1895 - Volleyball was invented in Holyoke, MA. In the 1990s, volleyball has gained popularity making it the second-largest participation sport in the U.S.
1900 - Nineteen women competed for the first time in the Olympic Games in Paris, France. They played in tennis, golf, and croquet. Golfer, Margaret Abbott was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal that same year.
1907 - The first organized bowling league for women began in St. Louis, MO. The first of three womens bowling tournaments were organized by the American Bowling Congress.
1917 - Lucy Diggs Slowe became the first female African-American national champion in any sport, winning the singles titles at the first American Tennis Association National Tournament.
1929 - The first womens college track team was formed at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, offering scholarships to women athletes.
1972 - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was passed by Congress. No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activities receiving Federal financial assistance.
1974 - Little League baseball began to admit girls; Bunny Taylor became the first girl to pitch a no-hitter.
1979 - Softball debuted at the Pan-American games and the US Womens Team won gold.
1991 - The US Womens Soccer team won the first-ever womens world championship.
1996 - Sheryl Swoopes became the first player signed to The Womens National Basketball Association.
1997 - The Womens National Basketball Association (WNBA) had its first game on June 5th.
1999 - The Womens Basketball hall of Fame opened in Knoxville, TN making it the first Hall of Fame dedicated to any womens sport.
2004 - The participation of women in the Olympic Games was historic. Forty-four percent of all Olympic athletes were women, the highest percentage ever.
2009 - Nancy Lieberman became the coach of the Texas Legends in the NBA Development League, and emerged as the first woman to coach a professional mens basketball team.
2012 - Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglass was named the AP female Athlete of the Year.
2013 - February 6th marks the 27th Annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day.