She Shoots She Scores
Growing up a Mennonite, serving others has become a central value in my life. In my life outside the church, I’ve spent a lot of time on soccer fields, volleyball courts and cross-country courses. In December 2017 I paired serving and sports together and started a little non-profit called She Scores.
Sports, especially the professional leagues, suffer an overwhelming amount of gender discrimination and inequity. Male athletes are bathed in media coverage, a large fan base, sponsorships, salaries, top end coaches, attractive facilities . . . the list goes on. Females? They get barely anything. They worked their whole lives to get where they are, they train till they drop . . . and yet, they’re still working full time jobs on the side in order to put food on their plates. Picture being a professional athlete and also working a second career at the same time. The thought is exhausting.
The issue, especially the lack of media coverage, affects more than just athletes. It conditions people to think females don’t belong on sports fields. In middle school the boys labelled me as “not dateable” because I could run faster than them and do more push ups than they could. I’ve often been told “your thighs are manly” and “you’re strong for a girl.” Excuse me, but no; I’m not strong for a girl. I’m just strong. Not having women’s leagues on TV also deprives little girls from having sporty female role models who show them its okay to be strong and sweaty, and that females can grow up to be athletes too.
She Scores was created with the hopes of taking a step in the direction of equity. The main focus is media coverage and increasing exposure of female athletes. This is primarily done by having volunteers write weekly news articles about what’s going on in professional sports leagues, sharing posts through our social media platforms, writing about an Athlete of the Week (a professional athlete who has recently stood out), videoing a “Weekly News Update,” publishing guest blog posts submitted by the general public, and running events that promote women’s sports leagues. The goal of the exposure is that it will enlarge the fan base of women’s leagues, therefore someday increasing their revenue, popularity and exposure within bigger media organizations.
Serving others comes in lots of different shapes and forms. In the Mennonite church, improving athletics is usually not one of them. However, as a female sports-lover, journalist and, most importantly, someone who seeks to serve the world, I can’t help but believe fighting for gender equity in sport is the mission God sent me here to do.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND SHE SCORES: