No girl left indoors

Title IX helped pave the way for next week’s woman-powered West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix at River Walk Park

Add this to the growing list of reasons Sacramento is one of the most awesome places: At this week’s huge cyclocross race-party in West Sac, the women’s cash prize package is equal to the men’s.

That is probably partly thanks to Emily Kachorek, pictured (at left) on this week’s cover. Emily is co-owner of Squid Bikes, design-manufacturers of custom aluminum bike frames and sundry cycling goods. She is also a world-class cyclocross racer who recently returned from a trip to China, where she stood on the podium at the prestigious Qiansen Trophy event.

Darcy Hargrove also deserves some credit for the West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix’s strong commitment to female athletes. As you will see in Steph Rodriguez’ articles previewing the event, Darcy is a member of the local all-women’s cyclocross posse Dirt Birds; her husband Matthew is WSCXGP’s race director.

Emily Kachorek, Darcy Hargrove, the Dirt Birds and the dozens of women and girls who will be pumping and sweating this weekend are furthering a movement that dates back at least 45 years, when a bunch of female athletes and their friends pushed the U.S. Congress to include a piece of language called Title IX in the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX outlawed discrimination, on the basis of sex, from “any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Since then, Title IX has had its most profound impact in school sports. In 1972, fewer than one in 25 girls played sports in school. Two out of five girls do so now.

Girls who want to play hard and compete now have role models. We got a reminder this week that athletics can play a powerful role in our political culture. The inverse is also true.