NATIONAL GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 26
(House of Representatives - February 09, 2009)

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[Pages H1049-H1051]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                 NATIONAL GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY

  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the 
resolution (H. Res. 114) supporting the goals and ideals of ``National 
Girls and Women in Sports Day''.
  The Clerk read the title of the resolution.
  The text of the resolution is as follows:

                              H. Res. 114

       Whereas, since 1987, the National Girls and Women in Sports 
     Coalition has declared February 4 as ``National Girls and 
     Women in Sports Day'';
       Whereas the House of Representatives has recognized the 
     importance of girls and women in sports through title IX, 
     which governs the overall equity of treatment and opportunity 
     in athletics so that women have equal opportunities to 
     participate in athletics;
       Whereas the number of girls playing high school sports has 
     increased from just under 300,000 during the 1971 to 1972 
     school year to nearly 3,000,000 during the 2005 to 2006 
     school year;
       Whereas the number of women playing college sports grew 
     from fewer than 32,000 in 1972 to nearly 171,000 from 2005 to 
     2006;
       Whereas, despite great advancement, high school girls still 
     receive 1,300,000 fewer participation opportunities than do 
     boys, and the money spent on girls' sports is still far less 
     than that spent on boys' sports;
       Whereas high school girls who play sports are more likely 
     to get better grades in school and are more likely to 
     graduate than girls who do not play sports;
       Whereas as little as 4 hours of exercise a week may reduce 
     a girl's risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis, and obesity;
       Whereas girls and women who play sports have a more 
     positive body image, higher levels of confidence and self-
     esteem, and experience higher states of psychological well-
     being than girls and women who do not play sports;
       Whereas the celebration of ``National Girls and Women in 
     Sports Day'' would increase awareness of the importance 
     sports play in the lives of girls and women in the United 
     States; and
       Whereas February 4, 2009, has been designated as ``National 
     Girls and Women in Sports Day'' by the National Girls and 
     Women in Sports Coalition: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
       (1) supports the goals and ideals of ``National Girls and 
     Women in Sports Day'', an event sponsored by the National 
     Girls and Women in Sports Coalition to honor the achievements 
     of and encourage participation of girls and women in sports; 
     and
       (2) encourages the continued participation of schools and 
     communities in providing opportunities for girls and women in 
     elementary, secondary, and college sports to promote 
     awareness of the positive influence of sports participation 
     in the lives and health of girls and women, and the 
     continuing struggle for equality and access for women in 
     sports.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from the 
Northern Mariana Islands (Mr. Sablan) and the gentleman from Kentucky 
(Mr. Guthrie) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from the Northern Mariana Islands.


                             General Leave

  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I request 5 legislative days during which 
Members may revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous 
material regarding House Resolution 114 into the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from the Northern Mariana Islands?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may 
consume.
  I rise today in support of House Resolution 114, which recognizes 
February 4, 2009 as the 23rd National Girls and Women in Sports Day, 
and it also urges an increase in awareness of the importance sports 
plays in the lives of girls and women.
  In 1987, the National Girls and Women in Sports Day began to 
celebrate the work of Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman to advance 
gender equality in athletics. Today, National Girls and Women in Sports 
Day seeks to honor the struggle and achievements of women in athletics.
  The participation rates of women and girls in sports has risen 
dramatically. Currently, more than 3 million girls participate in high 
school sports compared to less than 300,000 girls in 1971. The number 
of women playing college sports has increased from 32,000 to

[[Page H1050]]

171,000 in a little over 30 years. However, in spite of this impressive 
growth, the money and opportunities for males to participate in sports 
are still much greater than those available to females.
  The benefits of sports participation cannot be overstated. High 
school girls who participate in athletics are more likely to have a 
healthy mind and body. Specifically, girls who play sports have better 
grades and are more likely to graduate compared to girls who do not 
participate in athletic activities. The risk of breast cancer, 
osteoporosis and obesity in girls is also reduced with as few as 4 
hours of exercise a week.
  Participating in sports helps promote healthy habits and improves 
self-esteem. These very traits have proven effective in combating 
eating disorders. Since 90 percent of people with eating disorders are 
female and 86 percent are under the age of 20, participating in sports 
can provide girls and young women across the Nation the necessary tools 
for success. Females who participate in sports are more likely to have 
a better body image and are less likely to suffer from psychological 
disorders.
  Every February, we highlight the accomplishments of female athletes 
with National Girls and Women in Sports Day. I would like to take this 
opportunity to note the accomplishment of a female athlete from the 
Northern Mariana Islands. Her name is Yvonne Deleon Guerrero Bennet. 
Yvonne has rewritten all the Micronesian records in sprint events. 
During the recent Oceania Area Championships, she made the finals in 
the 100, 200 and 400 meter events, setting records all along the way. 
For her accomplishments, she was voted Female Athlete of the Year by 
the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association. Off the track, Yvonne 
is an honor student.
  On National Girls and Women in Sports Day, we remember the women who 
fought for equality in sports, and we celebrate the many girls and 
women, such as Yvonne Bennet, who are benefiting from the path paved by 
women like Flo Hyman.
  Mr. Speaker, once again, I express my support for National Girls and 
Women in Sports Day. I thank Representative Sires for introducing this 
important resolution, and I urge my colleagues to support this 
resolution.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in support of House Resolution 114, supporting the goals and 
the ideals of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
  Sports play an important role in the lives of American children. 
Millions of children participate in sports every day, and many look to 
professional athletes as role models. In the past few decades, female 
athletes have made innumerable accomplishments and contributions to the 
athletic world. Women have set world records for speed, have won 
hundreds of Olympic medals and have excelled as highly watched 
professional athletes. They have become the first college basketball 
coach to win 1,000 games, have been elected to the National Baseball 
Hall of Fame and have been named among the top 10 most influential 
people in sports history.
  Female athletes also have the opportunity to compete and win 
championships throughout their educational careers, like my daughter 
Caroline. Caroline plays for the Greenwood High School Fastpitch 
Softball team, which won back-to-back Kentucky State championships in 
2007 and 2008. I am very proud of my daughter, of her teammates and of 
all the other women and girls who compete in sports. Clearly, the 
accomplishments and importance of girls and women in sports are worthy 
of commemoration.
  With that, I encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of this 
resolution.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, has the gentleman from Kentucky any further 
speakers?
  Mr. GUTHRIE. We have no further speakers, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. SABLAN. Once again, I express my support for National Girls and 
Women in Sports Day, and I urge my colleagues to support this 
resolution.
  Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to discuss H. Res. 114, the 
National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which I introduced. Dedication, 
teamwork, discipline, courage, victory, and overcoming defeat can all 
be learned by participating in sports. Athletics are one of the best 
opportunities for personal growth, and yet there has not always been an 
equal opportunity for everyone to participate.
  In 1971, only 300,000 women participated in high school sports and 
fewer than 32,000 competed in college sports. Thanks in large part to 
Title IX, opportunities for girls and women to participate in sports 
have expanded, so that today ten times more women participate in high 
school sports and five times as many participate in college sports than 
in 1971. However, we still have a long way to go. High school women 
still receive 1,300,000 fewer opportunities to participate than do 
boys, and the money spent on women's sports is far less than that spent 
on boys' sports.
  National Girls and Women in Sports Day exists to overcome the final 
barriers for women in sports by celebrating female athletes' 
achievements, acknowledging the positive influence of sports 
participation in women's lives, and urging equality and access for 
women in sports. On February 4, 2009, the 23rd National Girls and Women 
in Sports Day was celebrated in schools and communities across the 
country.
  The Stevens Institute of Technology, in my district, recognized a 
woman, who truly embodies the ideals of National Girls and Women in 
Sports Day. Emily Woo, a senior chemical biology major at one of the 
most demanding scientific institutions in the country, is an athlete, 
scholar, and leader. She boasts a 3.6 cumulative grade point average in 
a demanding major. She holds five different school swimming records and 
has been captain of the women's swimming team for two years. As if that 
were not enough, her coach credits her with turning the swimming 
program around and being the best leader he has ever encountered.
  Emily Woo exemplifies the benefits of participation in sports. When 
girls and women participate, they are more likely to get better grades 
in school and are more likely to graduate. As little as four hours of 
exercise a week from sports activities may reduce a girl's risk of 
breast cancer, osteoporosis and obesity. Most importantly, when girls 
and women play sports, they have a more positive body image, higher 
levels of confidence, and are more likely to develop self-discipline, 
initiative, and leadership skills.
  National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an event sponsored by the 
National Girls and Women in Sports Coalition, increases awareness of 
the importance sports play in the lives of girls and women. I 
introduced this resolution to support the goals and ideals of this 
important day and to encourage schools and communities to continue and 
increase opportunities for girls and women in sports. As a former 
athlete, I know firsthand the benefits of competing in sports; my life 
is richer and more well-rounded because of those experiences. Everyone 
regardless of background should have equal access to sports, and I 
commend the National Girls and Women in Sports Coalition for their work 
to give everyone a chance to play.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. 
Res. 114, which supports the goals and ideals of ``National Girls and 
Women in Sports Day.'' I commend my colleague Representative Albio 
Sires of New Jersey for introducing this important resolution that will 
encourage girls and women's positive involvement in the athletic 
community and recognize February 4th as ``National Girls and Women in 
Sports Day.''


                               Background

  National Girls and Women in Sports Day is a special day for girls and 
women to celebrate their participation in sports and athletics. 
Encouraging girls and women to participate in sports has shown to have 
positive effect on a girls' development as well as social, physical, 
and emotional well-being. It gives them a better chance for becoming 
strong, independent women that will be able to positively contribute to 
and function within the American society.
  Girls and women who play sports are more likely to get better grades 
than their counterparts who are inactive. They are also more likely to 
graduate from High School. Additionally, for women, sports also tend to 
result in higher levels of positive body image, self confidence, self-
esteem, and psychological well being. The evidence shows that the 
correlation between female development and sports positively affects 
the lives of girls and women.


                                History

  Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, ensured that girls were 
entitled to equal education and federal funded opportunities as boys. 
When Title IX was enacted, 1 in 27 girls in high school participated in 
athletics. Today, one in three girls participates in athletics in high 
school now. These strides are certainly something that we should 
recognize, praise, and support.
  However, despite the significant gains girls and women have made 
since the enactment

[[Page H1051]]

of Title IX, girls are still facing pervasive inequalities. At the high 
school level, girls receive 1.3 million fewer participation 
opportunities than male high school athletes--a gap which has continued 
to grow in the past 5 years. Qualitative analysis suggests that high 
school girls still lag behind not only in participation opportunities, 
but in allocation of operating and recruitment budgets as well. Unlike 
their collegiate counterparts, high schools are not required to 
disclose any data on equity in sports--making it difficult for schools, 
students and parents to identify sources of inequality and ensure 
fairness in their schools' athletics programs. H. Res. 114 may not 
alleviate these problems, but it will support participation in 
activities and opportunities that will positively supplement our 
children's development.


                             Women's Rights

  Equality and women's rights are issues very important to me and those 
who reside within my district. In my own state of Texas, there are over 
3 million women under the age of 18. This number represents the girls 
whose lives could be improved by the opportunity to become involved in 
a positive athletic atmosphere.
  We must reach out and help these girls and women to become involved. 
I believe by showing our support for H. Res. 114 we are taking the 
first step.


                               Conclusion

  H. Res. 114 will ensure that the United States House of 
Representatives supports the goals and ideals of ``National Girls and 
Women in Sports Day to encourages girls and women throughout the United 
States to become involved in sports programs through their school and 
communities. H. Res. 114 will encourage schools and communities to 
provide opportunities for women to become positively involved in 
healthy, active atmospheres.
  This resolution will emphasize the importance of sports during a 
girl's development and recognize the struggle for women to gain 
equality and access to sport participation. I urge my colleagues to 
support H. Res. 114 and provide opportunities to young girls and women 
throughout our nation.
  Mr. SABLAN. I yield back the remainder of my time, Mr. Speaker.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from the Northern Mariana Islands (Mr. Sablan) that the House 
suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 114.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the ground that a 
quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not 
present.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX and the 
Chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be 
postponed.
  The point of no quorum is considered withdrawn.

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