The Women's Sports Foundation is a charitable educational organization "dedicated to increasing the participation of girls and women in sports and fitness and creating an educated public that supports gender equity in sport." The Foundation was created in 1974 by Billie Jean King and has become an authoritative source for information on issues related to women and sports. The Foundation's web site provides easy access to a wide range of such resources.
The home page features articles on current topics and an index to other categories of information. The articles are archived in a section called "Issues and Action" and form an impressive body of knowledge on issues such as gender equity, homophobia in women's sports, gender verification, sport psychology and women's health. There is practical information for female athletes on nutrition, exercise and drug use. A section for coaches addresses topics such as coach-athlete relationships and recruiting, retention and advancement of women in athletics. There is extensive information on Title IX athletic program regulations.
"Media Spotlight" tackles media representation of women athletes. This section includes the Foundation's report on "Images and Words in Women's Sports," which includes guidelines for the media on treating female and male athletes equally in sports commentary as well as image guidelines for female athletes.
A "Sports and Fitness" link leads to information about individual sports and fitness activities, including an index with profiles ranging from acrobatics to ice hockey to yoga. Profiles give fairly minimal information about the sport, such as equipment needed and risk of injury. Links are provided to fuller information, including books and videos, organizations, profiles of athletes, and articles. This section could use further development, as there are no articles listed for most of the sports, even in a few cases where a relevant article is available elsewhere on the site.
The site includes extensive information on scholarships, grants and internships for women in sports-related fields as well as a "Career Center" with articles on career opportunities and a searchable database of sports business and administration programs.
The design is very effective, with a good mix of substantive text, images, and snippets such as inspirational quotes and women's sports trivia. This site will be a valuable resource for research on issues related to women and sports, for students in any sports-related field, and for athletes, coaches and administrators.
University of Oregon