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Since its inception in 1987, National Girls and Women in Sports Day has become the premiere occasion to celebrate the participation, success and accomplishments of girls and women athletes. What started in 1987 as a single event in Washington, D.C. to honor Olympic volleyball star Flo Hyman has grown into a nationwide celebration across all 50 states. On February 3, 2010, thousands will gather to celebrate NGWSD 2010 and "Stay Strong, Play On." Athletes like Martina Navratilova, Candace Parker or Jessica Mendoza who played or are still playing are making a difference, overcoming difficult circumstances, breaking records and making things possible. Despite the stunning advances made in the 38 years since Title IX was enacted, high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than do boys, and evidence suggests that the money spent on girls’ sports programs lags significantly behind the money spent on boys’ programs.

The Women’s Sports Foundation is a member of the National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) coalition. Other members include: Girls’ Incorporated, Girls Scouts of America, National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, and the National Women’s Law Center.

NGWSD is marked annually with events around the country and on Capitol Hill to commemorate the achievements of girls and women in athletics. It is also an important day to promote the continued expansion of opportunities for girls and women to play sports and live physically active lives.

In addition to our work with the national NGWSD coalition’s Washington, D.C. events, the Foundation will also be presenting its own “Stay Strong, Play On” Athlete Challenge in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Dozens of champion athletes have taken to their Twitter, Facebook and own personal websites to encourage followers, fans and friends to vote for them — they are the best of the best, after all, and they love to compete! Visit here to support the Foundation’s President, Jessica Mendoza, or any of your favorite athletes.