Three women’s sports attain varsity status

 As a part of The Cavalier Daily’s 130 year anniversary, we are republishing articles from our archive. This article originally ran in The Cavalier Daily September 4, 1973. 

After four years of striving for recognition and necessary funding, three women’s club sports have finally gone intercollegiate.

Women’s basketball, tennis and field hockey will begin receiving funds from the athletic department effective this fall and be recognized as full-fledged varsity sports.

Previous to this year, the female teams received funds from Student Council as do all club sports. The total amount for the three sports combined was under $1,000 — now, the three sports will be receiving close to $30,000.

Breakthroughs for women in the athletic world have also been made in intramurals. According to Barbara Kelly, director of women’s athletics, “We’re progressing by leaps and bounds.”

University women can now participate in intramurals ranging from touch football to swimming. In fact, any intramural open to a male is also open to any female on Grounds.

Any University woman can participate in intramurals on either a dorm or independent team. On each first-year hall and suite, an intramural manager will be chosen this week to organize dorm athletics. 

Other new fringe benefits for women include their own sauna bath. Last year women were allowed to use the University Hall sauna only one night a week for two hours. Because of the short hours, it was usually packed full of girls.

Realizing the problem, the athletic department has immediate plans of building a women’s sauna in Memorial Gymnasium.

“We’ve come a long way in four years’ time,” commented Kelly, who has developed the women’s program since University co-education began.

“I always dreamed of the time when our girls would be playing on intercollegiate teams,” she said, “and I can hardly believe we’ve finally made it.”

She did have words of warning to those University women interested in trying out for the new intercollegiate teams.

“As a club sport, practice was not rigid and disciplined,” Kelly explained, “but as varsity teams we are really going to have to work at it.”

“Our girls are going to have to make a lot of self-sacrifice and learn self-discipline,” she added.

“Our varsity sports-basketball, field hockey, and tennis-are geared for the truly talented individual. This isn’t meant to discourage anyone, just to know where we stand.”

For those girls who enjoy sports but don’t want to make a full commitment, intramural athletics are probably the best answer.

Transcribed by Sonia Gupta

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