ON THE FIELDWomen who participate in sports perform better in game of life

Leanne Cave

In the last three decades, research shows that women who participate in sports at every level, but especially at the collegiate level, have become successful in the business world as well as in life.

Women who have put on the Renegade uniform are no exception.

According to Bakersfield College associate athletic director and women’s softball coach, Sandi Taylor, many women athletes have gone on to secure successful careers such as occupational therapists, teachers, probation officers and many other occupations in Bakersfield as well as in other locations.

“I couldn’t begin to name all of them that have participated and gone on to become successful,” Taylor said. “There have been many.

“Trisha Gay wore a Renegade uniform and is now an assistant coach of the women’s softball team here at BC.”

The reason for the success is the values and goals that are instilled in athletes.

Women who compete in athletics feel good about themselves. They also feel that they are a part of the group or a team.

As a member of Teen Teachers, a girl’s athletic program at Bakersfield High in the early ’70s, I can attest to this.

Teen Teachers was a way to compete and to feel good about being a part of a team.

But it was more than that.

We also felt like we had a family at school. We could help each other in down times.

Extensive research shows that girls who are involved in athletics boost their self-esteem, improve their physical fitness and do better academically while in school.

They are less likely to drop out of school, do drugs, smoke or get pregnant and they are more able to weather the physical and emotional storms of adolescence, according to an article in the April 23 Family Circle magazine.

According to Linda Marsa, the articles author, three-time Olympic medalist Dominique Dawes agrees.

“Gymnastics was a wonderful outlet for me,” Dawes said in the article. ” It kept me from falling into a dark hole during the down times we all have.”

Taylor agrees.

“Women athletes become successful in the business world because they have self-confidence, good work ethic and are dedicated to the sport in which they compete.”

Johnette Howard states in future.newsday.com that there has never been a better time to be a girl or woman in America.

Not only are women competing in Olympic basketball, but professional basketball.

She writes there are golden opportunities in the communications field (which include sports writing and broadcasting) because of women’s athletics.

As a woman sports journalist at BC, I can attest that the opportunity is definitely there for women who have participated in sports at any level or have a love for sports.

What I learned as an athlete has given me the ability to accomplish my life-long dream, to become a sportswriter.