Women's Sports Foundation
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (October 2015)|
|Founder||Billie Jean King|
|Type||501(c)3 charitable educational foundation|
|Focus||to advance the lives of girls and women through sport and physical activity|
|Method||Educational projects, public education/recognition, grant making, advocacy|
Chief Executive Officer
Angela Hucles, Soccer
The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit charity focused on female involvement in sports. Founded in 1974 by tennis player Billie Jean King and initially supported by Olympic athletes Donna de Varona and Suzy Chaffee, its stated mission statement is "To advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity."
- 1 History
- 2 Current initiatives and programs
- 3 Research and Resource Center
- 4 Award ceremonies
- 4.1 Annual Salute to Women in Sports
- 4.1.1 Sportswoman of the Year, Individual Sport
- 4.1.2 Sportswoman of the Year, Team Sport
- 4.1.3 Billie Jean King Contribution Award
- 4.1.4 Wilma Rudolph Courage Award
- 4.1.5 ANNIKA Inspiration Award
- 4.1.6 Yolanda L. Jackson Give Back Award
- 4.1.7 WSF/WBCA Graduate Assistant of the Year
- 4.1.8 Darlene Kluka Award
- 4.2 The Billie Awards
- 4.3 Flo Hyman Award
- 4.1 Annual Salute to Women in Sports
- 5 International Women's Sports Hall of Fame
- 6 Notes
- 7 External links
The Women's Sports Foundation was legally set up in 1974 by Billie Jean King, her business manager Jim Jorgensen, and her then-husband Larry King. The Foundation was originally supported by Olympic medalist Donna de Varona and Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee.
In 1972 and in 1973 Billie Jean was awarded the Bob Hope Calvalcade of Sports for the "Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year". In 1974, she donated her winnings of $5,000 to incorporate the Women's Sports Foundation. Simultaneously, she started a new magazine titled Women's Sports.
The WSF began its multi-sport emphasis at the 1975 ABC TV show Women’s Superstars which was held at the Houston Astrodome. It was there that Donna de Varona working as an ABC Billie Jean King invited the women athlete contestants to join in on the effort.
For fifteen years, from 1975 to 1990, under the direction of Executive Director, Eva Auchincloss and Assistant Directors Holly Turner and Paula Cabot, and the Chairwoman Billie Jean King, the Board of Trustees was expanded to include Olympian Peggy Fleming, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, and Vice-President of Bristol-Myers Marvin Koslow, David Foster, CEO of Colgate Palmolive. In 1979, Donna de Varona was appointed the first president of the Foundation. Under the leadership of Executive Director Eva Auchincloss and her team, the foundation grew.
In 1990, in recognition of Billie Jean's long standing efforts to promote the rights of women, Life magazine named King one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century", in part because of her promotion of sports for women such as the Women's Sports Foundation.
Women's Sports Foundation advocates equal opportunity for girls and women's sports in the United States and around the world.
Past presidents include Donna de Varona, Carol Mann, Lyn St. James, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Wendy Hilliard, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Nancy Lieberman, Julie Foudy, Dawn Riley, Dominique Dawes, Aimee Mullins, Jessica Mendoza, Laila Ali, and Angela Ruggiero. The current president is Angela Hucles and the current Board of Trustees Chair is Sandra Vivas.
Current initiatives and programs
International Women's Sports Hall of Fame: The International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame recognizes the athletic achievements of those who have competed at least 25 years prior to the present year in the Pioneer category. Athletes whose accomplishments came within the past 25 years are inducted into the Contemporary category. Selections are made worldwide and are based on achievements, breakthroughs, innovative style and ongoing commitment to the development of women’s sports.
GoGirlGo!: The Women’s Sports Foundation’s GoGirlGo! works across the country to improve the health of sedentary girls and to keep girls involved in physical activity. We get girls moving not through direct service, but by supporting programs and organizations that work with girls. GoGirlGo! identifies and weaves together quality resources within each community and provides comprehensive support through education, funding, public awareness and networking.
Sports 4 Life: In October 2014, the Women’s Sports Foundation, with support from espnW, launched “Sports 4 Life” a new, national grant program to increase participation and retention of African-American and Hispanic girls in sports.
The Travel & Training Fund: The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) was the first — and only — charitable organization to offer grants to aspiring women athletes with elite potential when it established the grant almost 30 years ago. The Travel & Training Fund provides direct financial assistance to aspiring athletes – in individual and team sports. Travel & Training grants allow serious female athletes a chance to fulfill their potential on the regional, national or international level through assistance for coaching, specialized training, equipment, athletic attire, and/or travel. Since 1984, WSF awarded grants to more than 1300 individual athletes and teams – including figure skaters Michelle Kwan and Rachael Flatt, diver Mary Ellen Clark, ski jumper Alissa Johnson, swimmer Mallory Weggemann and the US National Water Polo Team. The T&T Fund is supported by contributions by donors and WSF national sponsor Gatorade.
It Takes A Team: Originally called The Project to Eliminate Homophobia in Sport, It Takes A Team! started in 1996, enabled by fundraising efforts by tennis legend, Martina Navratilova. The Project to Eliminate Homophobia in Sport was a collaborative effort among the Women’s Sports Foundation, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Gay and Lesbian Education Network, the Ms. Foundation, Uncommon Legacy and ASTRAEA. Under the leadership of Lisa Dawn Thompson, the project developed a comprehensive educational kit which was first released in 2002. In 2005, Pat Griffin became director of It Takes A Team! and is continuing the project’s commitment developing and disseminating high quality educational materials promoting sports equality for all.
V is for Victory. So is IX.: (no longer running) In three target states: California, Washington and Pennsylvania, the Women’s Sports Foundation is partnering with legal expert centers: the California Women’s Law Center (CLWC), the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington (ACLU) and the Women’s Law Project (WLP) to provide education, resources and technical assistance to parents, students, coaches and administrators to level the playing field in those communities. In each region, the law centers are armed with the legal knowledge and expertise to provide individuals with technical assistance and support as they navigate the channels to make positive change within their schools. Additionally, the Foundation has local staff providing free educational workshops to parents, coaches and students. All participants leave with resources to act, step-by-step, on behalf of Title IX victory.
Research and Resource Center
SHARP, the Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center for Women and Girls, was established in 2010 as a new partnership between the Women’s Sports Foundation and University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology and Institute for Research on Women & Gender. SHARP's mission is to lead research that enhances the scope, experience, and sustainability of participation in sport, play, and movement for women and girls. Leveraging the research leadership of the University of Michigan with the policy and programming expertise of the Women's Sports Foundation, findings from SHARP research will better inform public engagement, advocacy, and implementation to enable more women and girls to be active, healthy, and successful.
The Women’s Sports Foundation Library and Resource Center contains a large collection of books, magazines, articles, photographs, films, videos, and artifacts.
Annual Salute to Women in Sports
The Annual Salute to Women in Sports celebrates the achievement of female athletes across all sports. Held in October at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, the Annual Salute features a cast of celebrities, champion athletes and supporters of girls and women in sports. The fundraising gala is a charitable fundraising event with proceeds benefiting the Foundation's grants, research, educational and advocacy-related programming. The Sportswoman of the Year Award - Team and Individual, the Billie Jean King Contribution Award and the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award are all presented during the gala. The Sportswoman of the Year Awards are voted on by the public.
Prior to its debut at Cipriani in 2011, the Annual Salute was held at the Waldorf–Astoria and Marriott Marquis hotels in New York City.
Sportswoman of the Year, Individual Sport
- 1993: Julie Krone, jockey
- 1994: Bonnie Blair, speed skating
- 1995: Bonnie Blair, speed skating
- 1996: Amy Van Dyken, swimming
- 1997: Gail Devers, track and field
- 1998: Michelle Kwan, figure skating
- 1999: Juli Inkster, golf
- 2000: Jenny Thompson, swimming
- 2001: Stacy Dragila, pole vault
- 2002: Sarah Hughes, figure skating
- 2003: Natalie Coughlin, swimming
- 2004: Annika Sorenstam, golf
- 2005: Erin Popovich, swimming
- 2006: Melanie Troxel, auto racing
- 2007: Lorena Ochoa, golf
- 2008: Nastia Liukin, artistic gymnastics
- 2009: Courtney Kupets, gymnastics
- 2010: Kim Yuna, figure skating
- 2011: Yani Tseng, golf
- 2012: Gabby Douglas, gymnastics
- 2013: Missy Franklin, swimming
- 2014: Simone Biles, gymnastics
Sportswoman of the Year, Team Sport
- 1993: Sheryl Swoopes, basketball
- 1994: Lisa Fernandez, softball
- 1995: Rebecca Lobo, basketball
- 1996: Teresa Edwards, basketball
- 1997: Mia Hamm, soccer
- 1998: Cynthia Cooper, basketball
- 1999: Mia Hamm, soccer
- 2000: Serena and Venus Williams, tennis
- 2001: Lisa Leslie, basketball
- 2002: Sue Bird, basketball
- 2003: Lisa Leslie, basketball
- 2004: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, volleyball
- 2005: Cat Osterman, softball
- 2006: Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, volleyball
- 2007: Monica Abbott, softball
- 2008: Jessica Mendoza, softball
- 2009: Jessie Vetter, ice hockey
- 2010: Katie O'Donnell, field hockey
- 2011: Abby Wambach, soccer
- 2012: Alex Morgan, soccer
- 2013: Candace Parker, basketball
- 2014: Meryl Davis, ice dancing
Billie Jean King Contribution Award
- 1991: Sara Lee Corporation, Dr. Vivan Acosta, Dr. Linda Carpenter
- 1992: National Women's Law Center
- 1993: Judy Mahle Lutter
- 1994: Cappy Productions
- 1995: Dr. Christine Grant
- 1996: Dr. Anita DeFrantz
- 1997: Dr. Alpha Alexander
- 1998: Dr. Linda Bunker
- 1999: Deborah Slaner Larkin
- 2000: Charles M. Schulz
- 2001: Ladies Professional Golf Association
- 2002: Joseph F. Cullman, III
- 2003: Nancy Lopez
- 2004: Robin Roberts
- 2005: no winner
- 2006: Dr. Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney
- 2007: Michelle Kwan
- 2008: Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
- 2009: The Gatorade Company
- 2010: John L. "Launny" Steffens
- 2011: Visa
- 2012: Birch Bayh
- 2013: WNBA
- 2014: Tegla Loroupe
Wilma Rudolph Courage Award
- 1996: Jackie Joyner-Kersee
- 1997: Silken Laumann
- 1998: Willye White
- 1999: Gail Devers
- 2000: Martina Navratilova
- 2001: Michelle Akers
- 2002: Candace Cable
- 2003: Kelly Sutton
- 2004: Julie Krone
- 2005: Yuliana Perez
- 2006: Jean Driscoll
- 2007: 2006-07 Rutger's Women's Basketball Team
- 2008: Patience Knight
- 2009: Tiffara Steward
- 2010: Amy Palmiero-Winters
- 2011: Visa Women's Ski Jumping Team
- 2012: Kayla Harrison
- 2013: Melissa Stockwell
- 2014: Noelle Pikus-Pace
ANNIKA Inspiration Award
Yolanda L. Jackson Give Back Award
WSF/WBCA Graduate Assistant of the Year
Darlene Kluka Award
- 2010: Dr. Don Sabo
The Billie Awards
Flo Hyman Award
The Flo Hyman Memorial Award was conferred annually between 1987 and 2004.
International Women's Sports Hall of Fame
The International Women's Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1980, to give recognition to female athletes who have made history in women’s sports. The International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame recognizes the athletic achievements of those who have competed at least 25 years prior to the present year in the Pioneer category. Athletes whose accomplishments came within the past 25 years are inducted into the Contemporary category. Selections are made worldwide and are based on achievements, breakthroughs, innovative style and ongoing commitment to the development of women’s sports.
- Women's Sports Foundation Charity Report. Give.org. Better Business Bureau, June 2006.
- About Us - Women's Sports Foundation
- http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/home/research/sharp-center/about-sharp The Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center for Women and Girls
- Collection: Women’s Sports Foundation Library webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Hock, Lindsay. 2010 Annual Salute to Women in Sports. WSF official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Wissahickon grad O'Donnell is honored". Philly.com Sports. Philadelphia Media Network. October 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Sportswoman of the Year Award webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Billie Jean King Contribution Award webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Wilma Rudolph Courage Award webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- ANNIKA Inspiration Award webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "ANNIKA Inspiration Award". Women's Sports Foundation. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- Yolanda L Jackson Give Back Award. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "WBCA Graduate Assistant of the Year". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 3 Jul 2014.
- Darlene A. Kluka Women's Sports and Physical Activity Research Award webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- "Billies Awards Smash-Hit on West Coast Scene". lasplash.com. 2008-05-26.
- International Women's Sports Hall of Fame webpage. Women's Sports Foundation official website. Retrieved 2013-5-3.