TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Female athletes were celebrated and encouraged to participate in sports on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

In February of 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared the first National Women in Sports Day. The day was created to recognize the history of women’s sports.

The day is now known as National Girls and Women in Sports Day. It not only recognizes the history but also the progress women have made toward equity in sports.

Head ISU Volleyball Coach, Ashlee Pritchard said, “It’s just a day to be able to celebrate. Whether it’s the youngest of the young girls playing sports and then women in sports. Just being able to honor the accomplishments and how far female athletics have come.”

At the collegiate level, Title IX has played a major role in transforming sports for women. That growth encourages young girls to pursue sports.

“I think especially in the college athletic realm it’s really important for our student-athletes to understand that they get to be a mentor,” Pritchard said. “That they are looked up to by the younger athletes,” she added.

The accomplishments throughout history have made a large impact on women’s sports.

Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women Administrator, Angie Lansing said, “My mom didn’t get to participate in athletics, she was definitely an athletic person. But you know, I was able to do that and now there are even more opportunities for my nieces.”

Those involved at the heart of these programs, from youth to college to pro continue to advocate and be the voice for women athletes and equity for all.

“Just to be able to have an impact on the lives of female student-athletes in my job here at Indiana State is kind of what keeps me motivated in college athletics,” Lansing said.

In 2023, we celebrate more opportunities for women and girls in sports.

ISU volleyball player, Avery Hales said, “Having this day is huge for us. Just to be able to say, ‘look how far we’ve come and look what we’ve accomplished.'”

While these women agree that there is still work to do, they are proud of what has been accomplished thus far.

Indiana State University recognized all female athletes Wednesday night on the court at the women’s basketball game in honor of and celebrate the hardworking female athletes on this National Girls and Women in Sports Day.