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By Faith King

Title IX at 50: How girls sports changed through the years

Clearwater athletes share memories of competition


August 4, 2022

Courtesy photo | Benita Prater Beutler

Basketball pioneers • Members of the 1921-1922 regional championship girls' basketball team at Clearwater Public Schools include (l-r): Marrion Preston, Rachael Mittchell, Ilda Magness, Murna (Patras) Prater Stevens, Ellen Lambert and MaryPayne.

A large population of women have grown up with opportunities to compete in sports. Others, however, haven't had the same luck. Moms, aunts, cousins and grandmas faced struggles of not being given rights because of their gender. Up until 1972, women were discriminated against; but this changed for good when Sen. Birch Bayh pushed for and President Nixon signed Title IX into law, preventing discrimination based on sex, giving women the right to participate in sports at the high school and collegiate levels.

Women entering high school after 1972 have always had the right to participate in sports...

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