Youth Sports - Little Girls Need Sports!

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Little Girls Need Sports!

You may have seen the ad on television. It is one of the few advertisements using the voices of little girls that isn't promoting unrealistically figured Barbie dolls or the likes. The ad starts with a 10-year-old girl in a swing set and presents a series of images of different young girls saying:

If you let me play sports

I will like myself more;

I will have more self-confidence,

If you let me play sports.

If you let me play,

I will be 60 percent less likely to get breast cancer;

I will suffer less depression.

If you let me play sports,

I will be more likely to leave a man who beats me.

If you let me play,

I will be less likely to get pregnant

before I want to.

I will learn what it means to be strong.

If you let me play sports.

If you let me play sports.

Although the product being sold is never mentioned, the ad, which was produced by Nike, in just 45 seconds delivers one of the most powerful and thought-provoking messages on T.V. about the benefits gained by girls who play sports.

Women in sports is an issue that has dated back for many years. The breakthrough for women was in 1972 when Title IX, an amendment to the 1965 Civil Rights Act, was passed. It was designed to address sex discrimination in all areas of education, including athletics. Although Title IX was implemented many years ago, women and girls are still fighting for the right to play despite much evidence that sports make our girls stronger women and teach them to avoid a whole host of risk-taking and self-destructive behaviors. Research from the Women's Sports Foundation show female athletes have lower rates of teenage pregnancy, are more likely to delay their first sexual experience, and have, on ave...

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...tiveness, and teamwork, skills that everyone will need in life. Girls learn that you're going to fail sometimes, but they also learn perseverance and that failure is not permanent.

The Nike ad drew much attention to the female need. It helps to draw a picture in the minds of educators and parents that preventing girls from participating in sports hinders their emotional and physical growth. Sports can make girls strong and not afraid to be vocal; they can teach girls how to succeed and how to cope with failure. They can help girls to know their own physical and mental strength and build confidence and self esteem. So when a girl asks if she can play, instead of telling her no, let her play.

Work Cited

Goff, Karen Goldberg. "Playing For Keeps; Youth sports credited with imparting lifelong benefits." The Washington Times. 10 November 2002. 19 April 2003.

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