HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 97-4616, by Representatives Carlson, L. Thomas, Cody, Ogden, Kessler, D. Schmidt, McDonald, Cole and Conway


       WHEREAS, Athletics is one of the most effective ways for girls and women in the United States to develop leadership skills, self-discipline, initiative, and confidence; and

       WHEREAS, Sports and fitness activity contributes to emotional and physical well-being, increased self-esteem, and develops strong bodies; and

       WHEREAS, The communication and cooperation skills learned through athletic experience play a key role in the contributions of athletes to the home, to the workplace, and to society; and

       WHEREAS, Early motor skill training and enjoyable experiences of physical activity strongly influence life-long habits of physical fitness; and

       WHEREAS, The bonds built among women through athletics help break down the social barriers of racism and prejudice; and

       WHEREAS, The history of women in sports is rich and long, but there has been little national recognition of the significance of the athletic achievements of women; and

       WHEREAS, The state of Washington has been a leader in the fight for gender equity in athletics by passing legislation making it illegal to discriminate against girl's and women's sports, in hopes of encouraging more participation in athletics; and

       WHEREAS, The state of Washington has produced women athletes who are winners, such as Olympic skier Debbie Armstrong, ice skater Rosalynn Sumners, track star Doris Heritage, swimmer Mary Wayte, synchronized swimmer Tracie Ruiz-Conforto, marathon runner Lisa Weidenbach, soccer player Shannon Higgins, boxer Dallas Malloy, and rower Karen Kraft, whose spirit, talent, and accomplishments distinguished them from others and were a source of inspiration and pride to all of us; and

       WHEREAS, Women's sports are beginning to receive state and national attention through professional sports teams such as the Seattle Reign in the American Basketball League; and

       WHEREAS, There is still a large gap between men's and women's professional sports teams, as well as salaries and endorsements; and

       WHEREAS, The number of women in the leadership positions of coaches, officials, and administrators has declined drastically over the past decade, and there is a need to restore women to these positions to ensure a fair representation of the abilities of women and to provide role models for young female athletes; and

       WHEREAS, Historically, women athletic coaches, officials, and administrators have not received the same recognition as their male counterparts.  Women in sports are still climbing an uphill battle for acceptance and strive to receive equal compensation for excelling in their field; and

       WHEREAS, The athletic opportunities for male students at the college and high school level remain significantly greater than the athletic opportunities for female students; and

       WHEREAS, The number of funded research projects focusing on the specific needs of women athletes is limited, and the information provided by the projects is imperative to the health and performance of future women athletes;

       NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That February 6, 1997, be designated as National Girls and Women in Sports Day.



              I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of

              Resolution 4616 adopted by the House of Representatives

                                 February 5, 1997.




                          Timothy A. Martin, Chief Clerk