Women in Sports Lunch works to change attitudes surrounding girls athletics
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The women in sports lunch on Mar. 22 will be an opportunity to empower and recognize excellence among female athletes at ETHS.
The annual lunch, which was created in the nineties, has evolved over the years, finding new ways to honor and recognize female athletes for being athletes and leaders.
Some years speakers have talked about the importance of sports and fostered pride and drive in the athletes. Other years, it has been used to find new ways to increase participation in sports among girls in Evanston of all ages.
“This year we want to use the lunch as a forum to identify how to improve the spotlight for girls athletics at ETHS,” athletic director Chris Livatino said. “We want to find solutions.”
Livatino said participants would be addressing such issues as low fan attendance at home contests compared to boys sports, as well as media coverage of girls teams.
The event is being planned by three senior athletes, Riley Hughes, Megan Chambers, and Ania Gary, and is expected to draw over one hundred participants.
“We want to make a change, starting in our own community,” Gary, a member of the Pomkits dance team said. “Women in sports don’t get as much acknowledgement for their accomplishments as men and they always have to the extra mile to draw the same support.”
“It is evident that society does not perceive women’s sports to be as exciting or valid as men’s sports,” Chambers said. “We hope to get athletes at the lunch thinking and discussing about how we treat female athletics as an ETHS community and on a global level.”
Although they hope to find solutions along with the participants of the luncheon, they already have some ideas on how to increase attendance and recognition.
“The way to make a large difference is through small changes,” Chambers said. “By attending each other’s’ games, we can inspire other students to come out and cheer for the women’s teams as much as they do for the men’s teams.”
Not only are these students helping to set out the goals of the lunch, they are planning many of the logistical elements as well.
These types of events take a lot of detailed planning, especially when spaces are limited and the demand for them is high.
“It’s first come, first serve,” Livatino said, “We can accommodate up to two hundred participants.”
For anyone interested in attending the event, they just have to turn in a field trip form to the athletics office by Mar. 20 in order to miss fifth and sixth period and so planners can gauge the number of participants.