By Don Collins
Greatness always starts with a single letter. I had a bit of nervousness about my first post that developed into a mild case of writer’s block. As the old proverb by Lao Tzu says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” To combat my writers block, I simply had to just get started. I decided to write the first sentence that came to mind.
Women have faced an uphill climb in the world of sport, but each step in the right direction builds toward a future where disparities based on gender do not exist. To combat this gender block, some significant words have been written into laws protecting the right to participate in sport for women.
The purpose of this writing is to highlight ‘N.’ According to the National Girls and Women in Sports Day’s website, “This year marks the 32nd anniversary of National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), a national observance celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports.” ( “National Girls,” 2018, para. 1)
I was first alerted to the day by attending one of the Bowling Green Women’s Basketball games versus Toledo on Saturday, January 27, 2018. The two teams observed the occasion by having a special message delivered over the sound system during halftime, as two teams of local elementary school aged girls played. It caught me off guard and I had to scramble to check the website to see if that was indeed the day. Since I run my own sports media entity, Anion Sports, I tend to be on top of significant sporting news. The official date, as listed on the website, is February 7, 2018. Why on earth did the WBB teams observe the day more than a week in advance?
I learned more about the day itself and the history behind it. According to the archives from the Government Publishing Office, NGWSD was signed into existence by President Ronald Reagan on February 3, 1987 to dedicate February 4 as the first National Women in Sports Day. My confusion remained. Why did the BGSU Women’s team observe it on January 27th ?
Part of the reason may have to do with scheduling. BGSU has a home game on February 3rd so they could have observed it closer to the actual official date. But then I discovered something else. There is no official date. It changes every year, although the national day is usually recognized sometime during the first week of February.
This transparency in the schedule allows for a greater number of opportunities to recognize the day. A friend who goes to Michigan State informed me that the MSU Women’s team recognized the day a few days after BGSU did. Their team doesn’t have a home game on the 7th, so it makes sense that the team would have to plan around that. But BGSU plays on Wednesday. What goes into their decision-making process? Maybe it was the availability of the younger girls who played at halftime. This makes sense if they had a game the Saturday before the 7th and then didn’t want to have the younger girls out on a school night.
All in all, the fluidity of the process enables a greater number of observances. I would like to reach out to a representative from the Women Sports Foundation or the athletic department here on campus ahead of my own recognition of NGWSD. Greatness is something that I have focused on a lot in the past year and a half. I feel that all people contribute greatness in their own way and no one deserves to be left out. So, the National Girls and Women’s in Sports Day is something that I am proud to have witnessed, thanks to the efforts of BGSU Athletics.
Lao Tzu Quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/lao_tzu_137141
National Girls & Women in Sports Day. (2018). NGWSD.org. Retrieved from http://ngwsd.org/
National Women in Sports Day, 1987. (1987, February 3). Government Publishing Office. Retrieved from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-101/pdf/STATUTE-101-Pg2073.pdf
Don Collins is a senior at Bowling Green State University where he pursues a major in Sport Management with a specialization in Journalism. He is originally from Homewood, Illinois, about forty minutes south of Chicago. His primary sport interests include baseball, basketball and football, but he loves all sports in general.
I actually coordinated NGWSD for BGSU Athletics and I can answer all of your questions. We hosted the event on that day to allow as many groups and families to be a part of this day. When having a game on a weekday it can be discouraging to some that they won’t make it since a majority of our groups were younger than high school. While we also were offering free admission for students K-8 as well. Before the game itself we had a clinic hosted by the different women teams at BGSU, where over 50 girls participated in. I understand why you were confused, it just goes into the thought of effectively planning to allow as many people as possible to attend. I’m glad though you realized that this event was occurring and enjoyed yourself.