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Are Boys' and Girls' Athletic Programs Treated Equally? : Yes: Title IX has helped promote interest in, and funding for, girls' sports programs.

November 01, 1994|LINDA WHITNEY

As an athletic director, I continue to battle for "my kids"--all my kids, regardless of gender. We at Katella High School do not choose to divide and conquer. We strive to provide the most and the best possible for our athletes, not male or female, but athletes .

There is one budget. Funds are not initially doled out to "major" sports programs before the whole picture is analyzed and needs are assessed. Fund-raising, of course, is a must for all. Each coach submits a wish list at the end of the school year. The athletic directors prioritize the items on all of the lists and allocate the budget accordingly. Revenue-producing sports naturally are going to reap the benefits of budget appropriation, since those sports do help subsidize other areas of the athletic program.

Through our All Sports Booster Club, we attempt to initiate projects that benefit all student athletes. Community support is a godsend. Without the thousands of hours volunteered by parents and surrounding community each year, our athletic program would be severely handicapped.

Because of the nature of the beast, however, girls' sports programs have generally been simmering on the back burner. Since the emergence of Title IX, a renewed concern has kindled the flame. Instead of focusing on the past and dwelling on those things that have been missing for so long (things that should be a given), let's take a look at where we are going and the major strides that have been made. Again, I am defining Katella High's disposition.

Through the support of Anaheim Memorial Hospital, we have gained a full-time trainer who administers to male and female athletes. As it should be. Scholarship opportunities are equally available to both genders. As it should be.

The number of coaching stipends is the same in like sports, such as boys' and girls' basketball. Fund-raising efforts and bingo profits subsidize additional coaching positions. Coaches in like sports are paid the same stipend. As it should be.

Tutoring is available for male and female student-athletes who are experiencing difficulty in the classroom. Administrative support is strong with an administrator in attendance at most varsity games, home and away.

There is a plan to create an athletic team room for female athletes. Currently, there is no such area for the girls' sports programs. The boys' program has two team rooms. We are not dwelling on the negative, though. We are moving forward and implementing the positive. As it should be.

If your school is lacking in terms of program equity, perhaps you might choose to begin with identifying the problem and begin a positive, systematic approach to securing fair, quality personnel throughout your program. If equity does not exist, by all means, address the issue.

The bottom line, of course, is to create a situation that is fair for all .

As it should be.

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