In 1972, Congress passed “Title IX,” the mandate that allowed all women the same opportunity as men. On its 40th anniversary, campus recreation at Florida A&M University has implemented a few changes to ensure that women keep that opportunity.
Campus recreation is planning to revive its competitive cheerleading and women’s soccer teams, as well as bring more women into sports such as wrestling, volleyball, rock climbing and table tennis.
Campus recreation Director Robert Carroll said campus recreation made it a goal this year for women to be more involved, especially on the anniversary of “Title IX.”
“We committed ourselves to attract more women and to make our sports accessible to both males and females alike,” Carroll said.
The biggest change, however, is allowing women to participate in the men’s flag football league. That would put eight-time women’s national champions Simply Marvelous against teams like the Ft. Lauderdale Bucs and Team Unstoppable in the fall intramural football tournament.
Assistant Director George Heimbach said Simply Marvelous playing against men can be a stepping stone in women participating in different sports.
“Just like any team that’s done well, holding a clinic and being more out more out in public will advertise that,” Heimbach said. “It will show that they can really be successful in that sport.”
TiyRenee Riley, a third-year cardiopulmonary science student from Live Oak, Fla., who plays intramural volleyball, thinks allowing men and women to play the same sports will allow more people to be involved.
“I’m always up for a challenge,” she said. “The men that are experienced hit harder. They are stronger, so it will help me build my endurance to keep up with them.”
Campus recreation wants people to know that its more than just the rec center.
“I think a lot (of students) think it’s about the building,” Carroll said. “Campus recreation is more than a facility. We want it to be known to have the best and complete programs.”
Campus recreation is currently hosting interest meetings for upcoming sports for students who want to play intramural sports this fall.