If You Let Me Play Sports

Posted by Filed Under: Video

I have always loved this Nike ad. You youngsters might not understand the title because you have probably been surrounded by girls athletics all of your lives. Girls today are able able to swim, play soccer, run track, play basketball, baseball, lacross, volleyball, etc. You have to remember, though that it was only 36 years ago that women got the right to register for and run sanctioned marathons like Boston. The first woman to do it, Roberta Gibb, hid in the bushes at the start and ran bandit. The first official female entrant, Katherine Switzer, had to register in such a way that her gender was not obvious (K. Switzer) and was then forcibly shoved off the course repeatedly. That was in 1967. It took another four years to get the American Athletic Association to change the rules so that women were allowed to register for marathons, including Boston.

We’ve come a long way, baby. If you think Title IX is superfluous or not necessary please consider that in 1971 about 300,000 girls participated in sports (compared to 3.5 million boys) and in 1999 that number had increased to 2.5 million girls (compared to 4 million boys). Clearly girls want to play sports and there are some very good reasons for encouraging them.

About 21stCenturyMom

I found myself at the age of 38 the single full time working mother of 3 small children. I took up running because I figured I could get the biggest benefit in the least amount of time. Swearing never to run a marathon I found myself going out for a 4 - 6 mile run several times a week. I ran my first marathon 6 years later. Five years after that I ran another and then the next year another. Then I got bit by the triathlon bug so now I split my time between running, swimming and cycling. This year I think I'll run another marathon. And next year - who knows?

  1. Irene on July 14th at 9:33 am

    Loved the ad!

    I didn’t run track in high school because there wasn’t a girls track team at that time, however the boys had just about every sport available to them. It was frustrating to me because running was always my A in phys ed.

    I’m glad things have changed!

  2. Jessica on July 14th at 10:17 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I love this video!

  3. Chanda on July 15th at 2:35 am

    Great video/add. Thanks for sharing!

  4. IHateToast on July 15th at 4:30 am

    i played soccer from 1st to 12th grade and ran from the first grade (okay, it wasn’t organized, but i did race the bus). i ended up with a goofy husband and a bad heart, but i’m okay with that.
    but no one “let” me play sports. it was just assumed.

  5. FitSugar on July 16th at 11:10 am

    I love this ad! The Title 9 stats are amazing as are the stats on how playing sports changes girls lives.

    Those stories about women running in the Boston Marathon in the 60’s are crazy. Right on Title 9 and early female athletes for paving the road.

  6. FreckledRunner on July 17th at 3:09 pm

    This ad reminds me of an article I read in Runner’s World a couple months ago about Katherine Switzer. The first woman to run the Boston Marathon. It was a good article you guys should check it out if you can find it.

  7. FYI on June 10th at 4:26 am

    Great Video! What also is not really publicized all that much is the number of women who play recreational sports even after getting out of school. There are many women who play soccer, basketball and softball in their spare time for both the fitness and the enjoyment.

    FYI’s last blog post..Those Embarrassing Body Problems (Urinary Incontinence)