The Importance of Title IX, 50 Years Later

By Regina A. DeMeo

In June 1972, Congress enacted Title IX which required educational programs receiving federal assistance to ensure women were given equal access to sports.  Later that same year I was born, so I am truly a Title IX baby, who fell in love with sports at an early age.  For my mother and grandmother, who raised me, it was a good way for me to channel all my energy, while also ensuring that I was engaged in safe activities after school.  For me, it was a complete game-changer that has impacted every aspect of my life.

By age 11, when I began competing in rhythmic gymnastics I firmly believed that anything was possible and that I was in every respect equal to my male peers at school.  Despite my modest upbringing I had very clear and ambitious life goals, and sports taught me the importance of setting goals, developing a plan, and savoring each and every win as it happens.  But in order to continue with my gymnastic endeavors, my mother made it clear that I could not allow my academic performance to suffer.  As a result, I became super disciplined and organized at an early age.  In order to get in 3 hours of training a day and longer on weekends that were not spent in competitions, I had to make school work a priority on my free time, which resulted in having very little down time but I didn’t care.

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