Sanford supports women and girls in sport

Jeremy and Sara Tims will trust that their three daughters’ dedication to sports can make for a hectic family life at times, but they make it pretty clear that this isn’t a bad thing.

Lauren Tims is a golfer at Augustana University, her sister Sydney will be playing volleyball in Augustana next fall and sister Brietta is a 15-year-old athlete at Sioux Falls Christian who plays varsity-level volleyball at the Sanford Pentagon.

All three have improved as athletes, building friendships while building character and life skills at the Sanford Sports Complex.

Join the game: Personal and team fitness with Sanford Sports

This summer marks the 50e anniversary of what we know as Title IX, the legislation that opened the door for girls and women to participate in sports equally. Sanford Sports is part of that in terms of opportunities for young athletes through Sanford POWER, its sports academies and tournaments.

500K female athletes

In the past year, Sanford Sports operations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and California have opened their doors to more than 500,000 female athlete visits. This varies from strength and conditioning training to sport-specific work and tournament hosting.

Such numbers clearly confirm what the early proponents of this legislation claimed: The values ​​and joys we associate with athletics are not based on gender.

In this case, a change in law caused a dramatic culture change. This allows a family with three athletic daughters in 2022, such as the Tims family, to share how sports have helped them in the same way a family with three sons would.

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘busy,'” said Jeremy Tims. “It gets a little crazy sometimes. I will say that it is not always easy to keep everything in balance, but learning time management skills and learning to make choices is very important.”

The Tims family probably doesn’t spend much time talking about Title IX at the dinner table, but they are beneficiaries of this part of the 1972 Education Amendments nonetheless.

The Impact of Title IX on Sports

Title IX, which took effect on June 23, 1972, prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against employees based on gender. Surprisingly, there is no mention of sports in the official language in connection with the amendment. However, generations of women and girls have since embraced the sporting opportunities it created for them that weren’t there before.

“I remember my mom, who grew up in southwest Minnesota, and told her she had the chance to be a cheerleader, but that was it,” Sara Tims said. “There wasn’t really anything else available for girls back then.”

Fortunately, those limits would seem incredibly strange to the Tims sisters. That in itself is a sign of progress. In fact, there is also access to the personal growth that can come with participating in sports.

“Girls’ exercise really helps with confidence,” said Jeremy Tims. “Especially if you’re working your way through high school and high school. Being part of a team is also a very important part. They have learned to be both team members and team leaders.”

Sports as a career

Melissa Moyer started working as a physiotherapist in Sanford in 2009. She is now director of therapy and rehabilitation for the company. As a physiotherapist she specialized in sports rehabilitation and biomechanical diagnostics of running injuries.

Moyer sees girls stop exercising in their teens, who would likely benefit from staying with them.

“It’s that critical age — 13, 14 and 15 — where they need to feel like they belong,” Moyer said. “They shouldn’t feel like they have to be the best athlete to continue the sport. A scholarship does not have to be the reason they participate.”

Moyer left organized sports herself when she was in her teens, but sports never really left her. She wanted to become a physical therapist and previously worked as an athletic trainer in college before attending PT school.

She enjoys being part of the Sanford team that works to support athletes. Their motivation can become her motivation.

“They’re driven to get back to the things they were doing,” Moyer said. “When you have such competitive children, they are often competitive in themselves. They do the homework, in other words. They want to do everything to be able to exercise again.”

Sport as an outlet

dr. Josefine Combs grew up in Germany, outside the influence of Title IX, although her experience as an athlete was similar. The opportunity to play college volleyball brought her to the United States. A career in medicine has kept her here.

As a neuropsychologist in Sanford, Dr. Combs athletes in assessing, managing and treating concussions at Sanford. She is also a sports psychologist. In both roles, she helps athletes overcome barriers.

“The most obvious benefit of sports is physical health,” said Dr. Combs. “But it also offers children new experiences. It can help them find things they’re good at — things that get positive attention.”

Answering questions about how Title IX legislation has reshaped the world of sports from a women’s and girls’ perspective, Dr. Combs keeps going back to the lessons that sports pass on. In doing so, she also brings to light why Sanford has placed such a prominent emphasis on access to athletics over the past 20 years, regardless of gender.

“I always want to send the message to the women athletes I work for that they can do anything they set out to do,” said Dr. Combs. “This whole idea that women should be meek and shy – that’s not true. They can be strong. That’s the beauty of sports for women, right? They can be just as passionate about sports as men. It can be an incredible outlet It adds a whole different world of things to learn as you develop lifelong skills.”

Commitment to Goals

At the Tims’ house, they occasionally talk with their daughters about goals. It doesn’t always involve sports, but this is a sports household, so it gets its share of airtime.

Title IX and the people who brought it about have played a part in creating the need for those conversations.

“We joke that we either pay to keep them out of trouble, or pay to get them out of trouble,” Sara Tims said. “Whether it’s through the Sanford Pentagon or through other organizations, as parents you put money into it, but the kids also have to make an obligation. I know it has helped them and will continue to help them with time management skills and being able to manage many different things.”

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Posted in Community, News, Sioux Falls, Sports Medicine, Women

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