With the culmination of ESPN’s three-month, multi-platform ,The Power of IX initiative coming this Saturday, activities and events have been coming fast and furious, especially on our Bristol, Conn. campus.
This past Friday, a “Legends” panel was hosted on the main green and the following day, the company invited employees and their families to a sports clinic.
“Today, and this week has been incredible,” said International Programming’s Cathy Lawrence, who brought her daughter and her friends to the clinic. “I’ve worked here for 30 years and I can see once you involve the company with a particular passion, it brings the community and international community in so they can see what the company supports — giving us a base for success.”
Here are re-caps of those two events and a look ahead to a special day of programming coming up this Saturday.
The Power of Title IX
Employees gathered Friday afternoon to hear from sports legends and Title IX activists including Ann Meyers Drysdale, Bernice Sandler, Billie Jean King, Teresa Edwards and Lyn St. James.
Moderated by SportsCenter anchor Chris McKendry, the panel took a deep-dive into issues including the importance of women supporting women — both on and off the field.
“I love it when every generation does better,” said Billie Jean King, tennis legend and a key player in the birth of Title IX.
Sandler, often referred to as the “Godmother of Title IX,” and the other panelists agreed it was time to “pass the baton” to the next generation of women athletes and activists. Batons were given to children in attendance – including several girls from Power Play.
Shoot, Swing, Score!
Saturday’s Sports Clinic Day was led by several athletes including retired Women’s National Soccer Team member and Olympian Kristine Lilly, professional snowboarder and X Games medalist Tara Dakides, retired WNBA player and Olympian Kara Wolters and former MLB player and ESPN analyst Aaron Boone.
Participants were encouraged to test their skills in a wide range of sports including golf, soccer, tennis, softball, field hockey and extreme sports.
Eleven-year-old Tara Shaye Lynch, daughter of Colleen and Brian Lynch, both employees at ESPN participated in the day’s activities – and had the chance to meet Lilly, one of her sports idols.
“Sports mean a lot to me,” Tara Shaye said. “They teach me lots of lessons and they teach me that losing isn’t the end of the world.”
Continue to Celebrate
This weekend, ESPN networks will offer more than 180 hours of women in sports programming, including the historic Battle of the Sexes: 1973 Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs Match Saturday, June 23, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN Classic.