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UFA in Action – High School Sports and the Importance of Showing Up

By Imani Hedt

Friday November 17th – Clear Creak Amana and City High girls’ varsity basketball teams faced off in the first ‘Unbreakable Female Athlete’ sponsored game. With a tight 2-point difference throughout each of the quarters, it was a close game, each team scoring multiple 3-point shots and assists, keeping everyone watching on the edge of the CCA gym bleachers. Despite a strong defence from the Clippers, the City High Hawks pulled ahead and won the game with the final 30seconds showing a 5-point difference. Both teams and supporters left the game with a strong sense of pride and comradery, looking forward to an eventful season ahead.

This game was the first game sponsored by Unbreakable Female Athlete, who has partnered with both CCA and City High girls’ basketball teams to raise support for girls’ sports on a local and high school level. One of the challenges faced by female athletes, is a lack of visibility. Being in front of a crowd is one of the most encouraging places an athlete can compete; to see people in your corner and encouraging you forward is an unmatched piece of motivation, and female athletes very often miss out on this form of support. CCA’s #45 Ava Locklear said, “I think females get looked over, especially in sports, so I think that it’s an internal motivation to get noticed, to want to not be second to guys all the time and to be able to show yourself and prove that we’re just as good.”

The Clippers were fortunate to play a home game in front of a roaring student section, and the City High side of the gym boasted a number of students, parents and grandparents. “It’s great to see that many people coming out, obviously that’s what this whole cause is for,” Locklear emphasised, explaining how important it is that female sports receive the visibility that it deserves. Around the U.S. girls high school sports have been growing substantially since the implementation of Title IX in 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in any federally funded educational institution, opening more sporting opportunities for women and girls. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, surveying the 2021-2022 school year found that 41% of high school athletes are female.

So why is attendance at girls’ high school games so low? One of the most common justifications provided is that girls games are not as intense as boys and therefore not as interesting to watch.

However, this is just not true. The passion, determination and heart that the CCA and City High players brought to their match up, in addition to the incredibly tight scoring throughout, shows that female sports are no less intense than their male sports. It is a confident display of character that female athletes hold such high standards in their performance while having less obvious support, in instances of attendance at their games, and the visibility of their sport. To continue showing up, day after day is a testament to their continued determination.

CCA and City High Unbreakable Female Athlete apparel is available:

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