Hillgrove Girls Learn About the Impact and Importance of Athletics


The female athletes from every grade at Hillgrove gathered in the school's auditorium last week to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Basketball Coaches Susan Milam and Emily Goodson organized the annual program, designed in part to help the girls understand the long-term effects of Title IX. The bill became law more than fifty years ago, in 1972, and ensures gender equality in schools that receive federal money.


"You are enjoying a lot of the benefits of this movement. We still have a way to go, but if you look back in the 1970s and 80s, not all of the females had the same opportunities as you do today. Progress is being made," Coach Milam told the girls. "But it's important to remember so that we don't get comfortable."

The event was much more than a history lesson, though. Coach Goodson explained some of the many benefits girls receive from being involved in sports, including greater cultural awareness, higher GPA, lower dropout rates, better mental and physical health, and skills that lead to long-term success.

"Women who compete more often become leaders—CEOs, business owners—relying on the lessons and skills acquired during their participation in sports," Coach Goodson said.


In fact, 80% of Fortune 500 female CEOs were involved in sports as young ladies. While the obvious traits of teamwork, discipline, and competition are often recognized, Coach Goodson and Coach Milam made it clear that the benefits run much deeper.

To provide a real-world example to the girls, WSB-TV Sports Anchor Alison Mastrangelo was invited to give her perspective as the event guest speaker. Ms. Mastrangelo began her sportscasting career in Colorado and now works in Atlanta, covering many professional sports for WSB. She started several sports news departments over the years and covered Super Bowl 50.

"For me, sports was a confidence-builder and helped me make connections," Ms. Mastrangelo said. "I learned about failure and responsibility, and that has carried over into my career in journalism. Being involved in athletics allows us to grow as women and to navigate through life."


She took questions from the audience for about 30 minutes. Reflecting on her experiences in sports and the workforce, Ms. Mastrangelo gave parting advice to the girls. "We need to stick together, all of us, to keep growing and expanding. I look forward to seeing you all shine because this is a really awesome group of young ladies," she said to cheers and applause.

To close out the program, Hillgrove Athletic Director Jonathan Brown confirmed everything said during the inspiring event. "I stand here as your Athletic Director and as a man telling you to make sure that in everything you do, people respect you both in the classroom and what you do in athletics. You are still paving the way for the next generations," he said.