January 23, 2002 East Meadow, NY
Academy award-winning actress and accomplished archer Geena Davis has collaborated with the Women's Sports Foundation to offer an important new Web content area, GeenaTakesAim.com. The new area, that lies on the Foundation's current Web site, WomensSportsFoundation.org, will encourage young girls and their parents to take action against gender inequities in sports, informing them of their rights under Title IX and other laws that prohibit sex discrimination in sports. The area will provide information about Title IX legislation and offer guidance and assistance to those who want to ensure that community, school and open amateur sport programs comply with the law.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help young girls gain equality in sports by working with the Women's Sports Foundation," said Davis. "As a young girl growing up I was never aware of the opportunities that were out there for me in sports. I hope Geena Takes Aim inspires young girls to stand up for their rights and take action in their communities and schools."
Best known for her starring roles in the hit films "Thelma & Louise," "A League of Their Own" and "The Accidental Tourist," Davis began her career as an archer three years ago and has been ranked as high as 13 nationally. Last year she was a semifinalist for the 2000 Women's Olympic Archery team. Davis has been on the Foundation's Board of Trustees since January 2001.
"The Geena Takes Aim site will provide a central resource for girls and their parents to learn about girls' and women's rights in sports. This site will show them that one person can make a difference," said Women's Sports Foundation President Julie Foudy. "Geena Davis was the perfect person to get behind this project, not only because she is a trustee, but also because she is passionate about girls having the opportunity to play and being educated on their rights and resources."
The Geena Takes Aim section of WomensSportsFoundation.org provides visitors with information regarding Title IX legislation and a forum where they may discuss the level of equality between men's and women's sports. The following are just some of the features to be found at GeenaTakesAim.com:
· "Tell Geena" - Visitors are able to share their opinions about women in sports with Geena. She shares her memories about going to school when girls were not encouraged to play sports and there were very few opportunities to play on teams.
· "Geena's Unbelievables" - Unbelievable stories of girls and women who have experienced discriminations in the sports arena and how they confronted the challenge.
· Newspaper Report Card - Visitors measure column inches of coverage in local newspapers to determine how well they cover women's sports. After entering data on men's and women's high school, college, Olympic and professional sports a "report card grade" is generated.
· School Report Card - Users answer questions about their school or college athletic program. The questions cover all areas of Title IX. The answers are scored and result in a "report card grade."
· Take Action - This section encourages people to make a difference by writing to their local elected officials and media.
In honor of Davis and this new site, the Women's Sports Foundation has created The Aim High Award. Every month Geena Davis will recognize and award a school that has made significant strides to ensure gender equity in sports. The winning school will be chosen based on the scores they receive on the "School Report Card" which grades the institution's compliance with Title IX and focuses on the participation, benefits and funding their sports programs receive. Davis's Aim High Award supports her efforts to educate the public about the legal rights of girls and women to participate in varsity athletic programs that do not discriminate on the basis of sex.
Visitors can log on to Geena Takes Aim via the Women's Sports Foundation Web site, www.WomensSportsFoundation.org or by visiting www.GeenaTakesAim.com.
Founded in 1974 by Billie Jean King, the Women's Sports Foundation is a charitable educational organization dedicated to ensuring equal access to participation and leadership opportunities for all girls and women in sports and fitness. The Foundation's Participation, Education, Advocacy, Research and Leadership programs are made possible by individual and corporate contributions. The Foundation is located in Nassau County, N.Y. For more information, please call the Foundation at 800-227-3988 or visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org or AOL Keyword: WSF.