When I was in high school I managed the girls basketball team. One of my responsibilities was to call scores in to the local newspapers and tv stations. This was back in the early seventies when the coverage of high school sports was limited to the boys teams, and then only to the big three - football, basketball and baseball. Where I grew up high schools didn't have hockey teams, if they had then boys hockey would have gotten a share of the coverage.
Getting coverage for girls basketball was a challenge. If we were lucky the score would get into the papers. Forget the tv stations. But after each game I called. And I had an advantage that most other high school students didn't have. I knew the sports reporters for most of the local tv stations. I didn't know them well, but I'd met them and in a few cases served them coffee.
The reason was that my father was often a subject of sports news. He coached college football at a local college and a minor league (what most people call semi-pro) football team. He never made an obscene amount of money to coach or won a national title, but he and his teams were still news.
I didn't always like that he was in the news. When I was in elementary school it was just another bit of ammunition in the arsenal my classmates used to tease me about. But in high school it was useful. When I was brushed aside by the flunky answering phones at the local tv stations, I could simply ask to speak to the reporter by name. This sometimes required a second call. When the person on the other end asked who was calling my name, or more correctly my father's name would get the call through.
Slowly but surely the coverage of girls high school sports increased. It didn't just benefit my school, it benefited all the schools in the area. I'm proud that I had a part of that. My father who was a big supporter of equal opportunity in sports, not just for his own girls, but for all girls. I don't know if he realizes that he had a part in increasing the coverage of girls sports in the area where I grew up, but he did and I'm proud of that too.
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