This week the Women's Sports Foundation held it's 28th annual Salute to Women in Sports at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The mission of this excellent organization is to encourage women to be active in sport or any kind of physical activity. The group has far-reaching influence over the lives of young people. They support a number of community programs which give young girls the chance to play sports in their communities. Also, the foundation has assisted individual athletes in their training and competition at higher levels.
I attended the event with friends and mentors from my training years at Mayo. The evening is an inspiration to men and women alike, as it celebrates the female athlete.
This year, the Rutgers Women's Basketball team received the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award for their overcoming adversity to reach the NCAA finals. Even after their stunning Cinderella story, they were still judged not on their hard work and incredible achievement, but on their appearance during play. The now-famous comments by Don Imus (who, despite medial portrayal, is not an evil man; just misguided and insensitive) about their lack of grooming is certainly a wake-up call to all females in competitive jobs or sports. Imus' comments put a finger on something which is terribly wrpng with the way women are viewed in society. It sends the message that no matter what we as females achieve through our determination and effort, we will still be judged on our appearance.
So here's to you, Lady Scarlet Knights. Not only can you teachus all about teamwork, how to play basketball and overcome tremendous odds; you all look gorgeous. Too bad those evening dresses don't work on the court.