When you turn on the TV, is it often you see a women’s basketball game? A college softball game? It seems men’s sports dominate any sports channel. It is a stereotype that women are not as good at sports as guys are. At the college and professional level, men’s sports are more popular, but is it the same way on lower levels?
At Elkin High School, there are a wide variety of athletics. From shooting team to basketball to fencing to tennis, sports of all kind are available to students, but are girls’ and boys’ sports appreciated equally?
It is football season at Elkin High School, just like it is all around the United States. Some look at this to be the best sport there is. To others their favorite season is here too, volleyball season. As of Sept. 8, the girls’ varsity volleyball team’s record was three wins and four losses. The varsity football team’s record was one win and two losses.
The girls’ varsity volleyball team has the better record right now, but they have a smaller turn out. “On average, 600 to 700 people attend a home varsity football game,” said Tony Duncan, the athletic director at Elkin High School.
However, far fewer people attend a girls’ volleyball game. “On average, 100 attend a home volleyball match,” said Duncan. After considering the parents and family members who attend to watch their player, it seems very few people come to a volleyball game just to watch, but many come out to watch a home football game.
When it comes to financing these sports, Elkin High School is pretty fair. Duncan explained, “Funding depends on the sport. We make sure everyone is safe.” He added that a football helmet is priced close to $300 while a volleyball uniform is around $80.
Jennifer Brown, the athletic assistant at the high school, said, “There is one pot of money and a child is always given what is needed. We do our best to take care of our kids.” In this situation, the money spent on student athletes is based on needs and not gender.
Another often overlooked team at Elkin High School is also composed of girls. The shooting team is mostly female and is exceptionally good. The rifle team came in third place in state last year, and the team consisted of five girls. Jack Richardson, the shooting team coach said, “I am all for the all girl rifle team because the girls on the the rifle team will listen to you. Give them a suggestion, and they will try, while a boy will just say he can’t….Girls will try different things to improve.”
Richardson also added, “Our last year’s team was the best team we have had since the shooting team began.” He explained that he was not the only person that felt positive about this. Describing people’s reactions to the team, he said, “They were positive, everyone was, even the game wardens were glad to see that we had an all girls rifle team. They said that was the first time that they had seen a team with all girls.”
Although girls sports seem to be less recognized than boy sports, they seem to be growing in places like high schools. More girls are becoming interested in more sports like shooting team. Women are working their way up in more ways than just sports.
While we continue to move up in the world, women like Jennifer Brown seem to not be affected by the challenges. Brown, who is the only female in the athletics department, said, “Being a woman, I have to assert myself, but I enjoy being the only female.”
Alexandra Kakouras, Jaclyn Simmons, Ragan Crosby, and Sophie Reinhardt are English students at Elkin High School.