Women’s Athletic Association begins at DGN


SLAM DUNK: Club presidents and seniors Maggie Fleming and Violet Mitchell pose after basketball practice.

Anna Tokash, A&E Editor

At a University of Chicago basketball recruiting camp, an event attended by senior Maggie Fleming, the college introduced  the Women’s Athletic Association, founded in 1904 to promote women’s sports as well as relationships between varsity teams. Fleming realized that there was no organization promoting girl’s sports and teams in this way at DGN.

 “At the boys’ games, there’s never issues with attendance and there definitely is for girl’s games,” Fleming said. 

To combat this disparity, Fleming, along with the help of co-president Violet Mitchell and teacher sponsors Karen Spahr-Thomas and Sarah Schallmoser created North’s very own version of W.A.A. Co-president Mitchell participates in varsity cross country and basketball, activities that have shaped her passion for women’s sport representation. 

“It’s really important that we create more attraction to supporting women’s sports,” Mitchell said. 

Both Mitchelll and Fleming have noticed a low attendance during girl’s sporting events. They wanted to ensure that each female sports team at DGN is supported by fans and friends. Each team will take turns attending each other’s games and matches. 

“We want girls to be able to feel like people care about their sports and that there’s always someone cheering for them in the stands,” Fleming said. 

By attending games with teammates, Fleming feels the team bonding between the girls will grow. There will be a sign up sheet for each team to attend another event to support all girl’s teams. Co-sponsor Spahr-Thomas expresses her experience with teamwork and bonding as a young student. 

“As a former athlete myself, I understand and realize all the leadership, teamwork and other skills I learned from being on a team applies to my life today, it’s all life skills,” Spahr-Thomas said. 

Spahr-Thomas talked about the significance of participation and support of girl’s sports. As someone who was born shortly after Title IX, there were very few sports options for her. She feels supporting and encouraging participation for women’s sports is still relevant today. Co-sponsor Schallmoser mentioned her personal experience with women’s sports. 

“As a mother of a female college athlete, a big crowd for women’s sports is just as important as men’s,” Schallmoser said. 

Mitchell and Fleming hope to see W.A.A continue its advocacy even after their graduation this year. Mitchell is also excited for many organization related events taking place in her senior year alone.

“There is a possibility of doing a bake sale to raise money as well as getting W.A.A t-shirts to spread the word around school,” Mitchell said.

Club member and swim representative Kayla Kellam expresses her love and support for the club. She feels that even though it has just started, it is and will become very important to girls at DGN.

“W.A.A not only recognizes our sports, but brings different sports and teams together to support each other, which is really cool to see,” Kellam said.

Mitchell, Fleming, and club members alike all hope for this club to have an impact on high school girls, supporting them, and helping them to feel more confident in their sport and themselves. 

“We hope that by the time we go to college, W.A.A will grow bigger and bigger and we will see more people in the stands at girl’s sporting events,” Mitchell said.