The Emergence, Experiences, and Empowerment of Women Administrators, Coaches, and Athletes

The Emergence, Experiences, and Empowerment of Women Administrators, Coaches, and Athletes

Lindsey Darvin, Elizabeth H. Demara
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3618-6.ch006
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The objective of this chapter is to provide a more thorough understanding of the current United States intercollegiate athletics model that includes competitive sport opportunities within its system of higher education, the history and emergence of women in sport within higher education, the experiences of women leaders within intercollegiate sport, and future women sport participant and leader empowerment initiatives within higher education. While women were provided opportunities to compete in sport competitively within higher education at a much later date than their men counterparts, the significant impact of athletic participation for women and girls at this level has been established within the previous research. Most notably, women and girls with past sport participation experience at the college level have been found to represent a high proportion of women in leadership roles across a variety of industry segments. These insights provide significant evidence of the importance of equitable access to sport participation within the higher education model.
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The United States Intercollegiate Athletics Model

The Intercollegiate Athletics model in the United States has evolved over the past century from a male only, student-run approach, into a coed, multi-billion-dollar industry. In the mid 19th century, male undergraduate students began teams and organized competitions against other institutions. As competition and rivalries intensified, these schools began to see value in the visibility that successful teams could bring to their school, and subsequently increase the academic prestige of their institutions (Washington & Ventresca, 2004). American football quickly became the premier sport for intercollegiate competition and it played a critical role in the foundation of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in 1906.

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