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Women in Sport was created by the WIAA to support women as leaders, change agents, connectors and collaborators in the world of athletics.  Through this initiative, the WIAA is proud to provide women in athletic leadership with a series of conferences, workshops, and networking opportunities to inspire growth and engagement.

Each week, through June of 2022, the WIAA will recognize individuals, groups, and teams that have paved the way for others or those who are currently being positively impacted by the Title IX legislation. Selections are based on nominations and submissions. To submit your story for consideration, please fill out the following form.
 

Each week we will highlight selected nominees/submissions across social media platforms and the WIAA website. Highlights will continue throughout the year. Nominations/submissions will be accepted through May 1st.

NOMINATE AN INDIVIDUAL/GROUP HERE
SHARE YOUR STORY HERE
TRAILBLAZER HONOREES
 



 
As part of the continued effort to sustain and support Women in Sport, the WIAA has partnered with the University of Washington Center for Leadership in Athletics and Gesa Credit Union to host a three-day, virtual wellness series! Working in the sports world has been anything but easy the past two years. Join us for a 'shot in the arm' of practical and tangible supports aimed at the Mind, Body and Soul.

The three-day, Game Changers Wellness Series will include three LIVE Keynote presentations covering:

  • Mental/Emotional Wellness and Regulation
  • Physical Wellness and Regulation
  • Social/Relational Wellness and Regulation

Each Keynote will be followed by an opportunity to connect via small group-facilitated sessions hosted by Hannah Olson (UWCLA) and BJ Kuntz (WIAA). Clock hours will be made available following the conclusion of the Series. Each session will be recorded and made available on-demand for registrants.



After receiving continued feedback from multiple stakeholders regarding the event schedule, we have made the decision to postpone the Game Changers Wellness Series. We plan to host this series closer to Spring of this school year, with the hope that those interested will have more capacity to engage with the content and phenomenal speakers we have been lucky enough to work with.

Payment Refunds: Those who have previously paid via CC can expect a full refund in the coming days. If you paid via purchase order, we will contact you directly. If any refund issues arise, please contact Peter Ho. Any other questions can be directed to Sam Brown. We look forward to the opportunity to connect during a time that works for all! Stay safe and take care.

  • NEW DATES: Spring 2022 TBD
  • TIMES: 9:00am-10:30am each day - One (1) Keynote + One (1) Small Group Breakout
  • PRICE: $20 (contact Sam Brown if money is a barrier)
REGISTER HERE

 
BJ Kuntz
bkuntz@wiaa.com
 
Sam Brown

sbrown@wiaa.com
 
 

    
 


 
 

 
 
 

 


 

 

  
Carson Potter
REDMOND HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS XC

When Head Coach Carson Potter led the Redmond High School Girls Cross Country team to its first-ever 4A State Title in 2019, she fully understood what that Championship trophy meant for the Mustang history books. But she was shocked to discover what it represented in the legacy of women cross country coaches. Her victory in Pasco – a full 47 years after the passing of Title IX legislation – represented just the sixth WIAA 4A State Girls Cross Country Title won by a female coach. For Potter, this statistic has further exposed the glaring lack of opportunities for women coaches in athletics at all levels.

“The 50th Anniversary of Title IX is a great opportunity to highlight the positive impact and empowerment sports has for young women,” she wrote. “But more importantly, it is a time to reflect and recognize the inequities that still exist in sport participation, media coverage and coaching.”

Potter reminds us that – fifty years since its inception – the issues that Title IX sought to solve remain unavoidably relevant in the world of sports.

“While Title IX has advanced opportunities for women and girls in sport,” Potter says, “this progress should be thought of as the beginning and not the end.”

Saint George's Girls Track & Field
1973-1975

Before they’d ever even set a spike on the starting line, the girls who constructed and competed for the Saint George’s Track & Field Team bumped up against unrelenting barriers. In the spring of 1971, coach Ray Peterson sent out a message to recruit students interested in establishing the school’s first-ever track team, expecting a cohort consisting of a bunch of boys. Instead, he was met with the resounding determination and excitement of a group of girls.

After their initial meeting with Coach Peterson, the girls set about assembling their own uniforms and equipment – for which meet officials unsuccessfully attempted to prevent them from running relays on account of unmatching jerseys. Still, the young women pressed forward.

Two years later, they’d replaced the pillows cushioning the SGS high jump pit with real, adequate equipment. The .38 revolver and blanks they’d used as a makeshift starter gun were returned to their rightful owner. And from 1973 to 1975, the Saint George’s Track & Field Team had begun hurtling full-throttle towards statewide dominance. Against programs three times as large, “the ‘Dragonettes’ beat each opponent except one, placed first in 62% of the duel events, set six City track records, and set the State mile relay record for all classifications,” along the way to eight State trophy winners. In district competition, they cemented their dominance with 11 event records over just three years.

Overcoming unflinching “attitudes and obstacles standing in the way of their participation and success in sports, the Saint George’s Girls Track & Field Team of the early ‘70s reflects the very best of athletic pioneers – of any gender, era, or level. As former SGS discus-thrower Julie Hansen recently wrote, “for us participating, there was no shortage of enthusiasm and the feeling that we could be as good as anyone out there.”

Judy Kight
MEAD HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL

Before she took the reins of the volleyball program at Mead High School, Judy Kight began her coaching career at her alma mater, Shadle Park High School, where she played under Title IX pioneer Linda Sheridan. By the time her tenure had come to a close, Kight had assembled a combined record of 583-150, including a staggering 236-61 mark in league play. Alongside an abundance of volleyball expertise, Kight instilled within young women the importance of working hard together to compete at a high level and accomplish a common goal – which they frequently did, racking up seven state titles and 15 total trophies across 17 state tournament appearances.

Even after 23 years of combined success on the court, however, Kight’s most prized accolades extended far beyond the trophy case. Throughout her career, she inspired other teachers and coaches, mentoring peers in her school and league. Inside the gymnasium and out, her teams represented themselves with class, consistently competing – as her motto went – with “heart, guts, and passion.” From practice to postseason, Kight cultivated focused, determined teams who were always together in their pursuit of becoming better volleyball players and, more importantly, accomplished young women.

 

 


“The Woman Leader as a Leader"
(November 2020)

  Kim Chandler
WHITMAN COLLEGE
Director of Athletics and Chair of Sports Studies, Recreation and Athletics
  
“Women Leaders as Change Agents in Sports and Society”
(November 2020)


  Julie McCleery, Ph.D
UW CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP IN ATHLETICS
Director of Research-Practice Partnerships
 
“Pirate Captains, Mama Bears and Soapboxes: A Different Way to Look at Leaders Who Convene, Collaborate and Connect”
(November 2020)


  Maya Mendoza-Exstrom
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Senior Vice President, Legal and External Affairs
 
“Women as Culture Builders”
(January 2021)


Hannah Olson, Ph.D
UW CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP IN ATHLETICS
Assistant Director & Teaching Associate
   
Dylan Kartchner
UW CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP IN ATHLETICS
Research Assistant & Teaching Associate
 
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