The passing of Title IX marked an important milestone in the history of sports for female athletes, and on June 23, Nike celebrated its 40th anniversary by hosting a celebration of sports at the L.A. Coliseum.
Title IX requires any school that receives federal funding to give men and women equal opportunity to participate in sports, and mandates that all athletes be treated the same in all areas, including access to equipment, traveling, coaching, training, housing and recruitment.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, since the signing of Title IX, the number of female varsity athletes has grown from 32,000 in 1972 to 150,000 today.
"I think Title IX is something that seriously changed sports," said Beatriz Ortega, a high school basketball player who attended the event. "I love playing basketball; I don't know if I will take it to the college level, but it feels good to know that I have that choice."
More than a hundred people of all ages, sizes and athletic abilities showed up to the Coliseum ready to work out and have fun. Once the gates opened, everyone filed in and took the field. The crowd was greeted by athletes Joan Benoit Samuelson, Brandi Chastan, Lisa Leslie and Lakey Peters, and the introduction was followed by athlete drill workouts led by Nike Elite trainers Ryan Lauderdale and Joselynne Bosche.
"I didn't expect this many people to come out, but I definitely think that this is a good opportunity to be active and get in shape," said Teja Henry, one of the attendees.
After the short work out, the crowd was able to take part in the Nike Zone trialing and playground training experiences. The Coliseum field had three different stations featuring basketball, football and soccer, where people could create their own sports moments.
Attendees were also given the opportunity to try on the new Nike Lunar Hyper work out shoes at the Nike Fuel Stream stations. These new shoes feature sensors that measure how hard, fast and how often you train.
Nike’s celebration of Title IX’s 40th anniversary created a new way for female athletes to continue to strive and do the unexpected.