Fifty-Year Anniversary of Title IX a Reason to Celebrate Progress, Commit to Continuing to Push for More
Sitting in her living room in Dearborn, watching All-American pitcher Cat Osterman and Texas battery mate Megan Willis mow down batters in the Women’s College World Series, a teenaged Kerry Brennan KNEW what she wanted to be.
She wanted to be THAT.
A three-sport athlete for the Pioneers of Dearborn High School, Brennan would a few years later be living out that dream, playing college softball in her own right.
“My eyes were glued to the TV, and I knew I wanted to play college softball one day. Title IX allowed me to see that representation as a young athlete, and I was fortunate to continue playing at Oakland University a few years later,” said Brennan, now a teacher at Smith Middle School and the softball coach at Troy Athens. “First of all, I can’t even begin to imagine my life without sports. I am who I am because of sports.”
And the groundwork for those opportunities for girls and women in sports stem from the landmark Title IX legislation, which was signed into law on June 23, 1972.
Fifty years on from the passage of the law, some may take for granted that it was always the way it is now.
And those who went through the eras of change — or played for coaches, had role models who did — fully realize that, and took pause around the anniversary to appreciate the implications and impact of that five decades of advancement, looking at how far we’ve come — and how far there is yet to go.