50 years of Title IX: Nonprofit group works to make sports equitable for girls

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- This week marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools, education and sports programs.

The landmark legislation is also helping to make parents better coaches on and off the field.

In Long Beach, Mario Sanchez and his family attended an event put on by the Positive Coaching Alliance, or PCA.

"My mythology since I started coaching is not about winning but how to create good citizens," said Sanchez.

The organization works to make sports positive, equitable and accessible. Marti Reed is the director of national partnerships for PCA.

"We want to make sure the coaches are trained in a way where they are connecting with players and focused on social emotional learning," Reed said. "We also want to see more girls participating, more women coaching."

Reed says through the nonprofit's gender equity initiative, they are looking to recruit more female coaches and help youth sports programs engage more girls in sports, especially those in low-income communities.

"We want to see things move faster to provide more access and equity for young girls in sports," said Reed.

In celebration of Title IX's 50th anniversary, PCA joined with several other organizations including the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative to campaign for Title IX protections and enforcement. While the 1972 landmark law opened the playing field to women, there is still more work to be done.

"We've been seeing a huge increase in women athletes but not a lot of women management in sports simply because they think we are not up to it. But it is not like that, and we have to start to change that mentality," said Jessica Ramirez-Barragan, youth sports coordinator.

Title IX has shown women are up to the challenge when given the opportunity.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.