Jeremy and Sara Tims will trust that their three daughters’ commitment to sports can make for an occasionally hectic family life, but they make it quite clear that it’s not a bad thing.
Lauren Tims is a golfer at Augustana University, her sister Sydney will start playing volleyball at Augustana next fall, and sister Brietta is a 15-year-old athlete from Sioux Falls Christian who plays college-level volleyball at the Sanford Pentagon.
All three have improved as athletes, building friendships while developing character and life skills, at the Sanford Sports Complex.
This summer marks the 50ththe anniversary of what we know as Title IX, the legislation that opened the door for girls and women to participate equally in sports. Sanford Sports is part of that in terms of opportunities for young athletes through Sanford POWER, its sports academies and tournaments.
500K female athletes
Over the past year, Sanford Sports operations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and California have opened their doors to more than 500,000 visits from female athletes. That ranges from strength and conditioning training to sport-specific work and tournament organization.
Figures like that clearly confirm what early proponents of this legislation claimed: the values and joys we associate with athletics are not based on gender.
In this case, a change in the law precipitated a dramatic change in culture. That’s why a family with three athletic daughters in 2022 like the Tims family can talk about how sports have helped them in the same way as a family with three sons.
“The first word that comes to mind is ‘busy,’” said Jeremy Tims. “Sometimes he gets a little crazy. I will say that it is not always easy to balance it all, but learning time management skills and learning how to make decisions is very important.”
The Tims family may not spend much time discussing Title IX at the dinner table, but they have been the beneficiaries of this part of the Educational Amendments of 1972 nonetheless.
The Impact of Title IX on Sports
Title IX, which was enacted on June 23, 1972, prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. Surprisingly, the official language related to the amendment does not mention sports. Since then, however, generations of women and girls have taken advantage of the sporting opportunities it created for them that did not exist before.
“I remember my mom, who grew up in southwestern Minnesota, talking about how she got a chance to be a cheerleader, but that was it,” Sara Tims said. “There really wasn’t anything else available to girls at the time.”
Fortunately, those boundaries would seem incredibly strange to the Tims sisters. That in itself is a sign of progress. More specifically, access to the personal growth that can come with sports participation is also present.
“Girls’ sports really help with self-confidence,” said Jeremy Tims. “Especially when you’re working in middle school and high school. Being part of a team is also a very important piece. They have learned to be both team members and team leaders.”
sport as career
Melissa Moyer began working as a physical therapist at Sanford in 2009. She now serves as the company’s director of therapy and rehabilitation. As a physical therapist she specialized in sports rehabilitation and biomechanical evaluations of running-related injuries.
Moyer sees girls who drop out of sports as teenagers who would probably benefit from staying with them.
“It’s that critical age, 13, 14, 15 years old, where they need to feel like they belong,” Moyer said. “They shouldn’t have to feel like they have to be the best athletes to continue with the sport. A college scholarship doesn’t have to be the reason they participate.”
Moyer left organized sports as a teenager, but sports never really left her. She wanted to be a physical therapist and, to that end, she worked as an athletic trainer in college before going to physical therapy school.
He enjoys being a part of the Sanford team that works in support of athletes. Your motivation can become your motivation.
“They’re motivated to get back to the things they were doing,” Moyer said. “When you have competitive kids like that, they are often competitive within themselves. They do homework, in other words. They want to do all the things that allow them to enjoy the sport again.”
Sport as an outlet
Dr. Josefine Combs grew up in Germany, outside the influence of Title IX, although her experience as an athlete was similar. The opportunity to play college volleyball brought her to the United States. A career in medicine has kept her here.
As a neuropsychologist at Sanford, Dr. Combs helps athletes assess, manage, and treat concussions in Sanford. She also serves as sports psychologist. In both roles, he helps athletes overcome barriers.
“The most obvious benefit of participating in sports is physical health,” said Dr. Combs. “But beyond that, it gives kids new experiences. It can help them find things they are good at, things that get positive attention.”
Answering questions about how Title IX legislation has transformed the world of sports from the perspective of women and girls, Dr. Combs keeps coming back to the lessons that sports convey. In doing so, she is also shedding light on why Sanford has made access to athletics such a prominent emphasis, regardless of gender, for the past 20 years.
“I always want to send the message to the female athletes I work with that they can do anything they put their mind to,” said Dr. Combs. “This whole idea that women should be meek and shy, that’s not true. They can be strong. That’s the beauty of women’s sports, right? They can be just as passionate about sports as men. It can provide incredible output. It adds a whole other world of things to learn while building lifelong skills.”
Commitment to the objectives
At the Tim house, they occasionally discuss goals with their daughters. It’s not always sports-related, but this is a sports home, so it gets its share of airtime.
Title IX and the people who created it have played a role in creating the need for those conversations.
“We joke that we’ll pay to keep them out of trouble or we’ll pay to keep them out of trouble,” said Sara Tims. “Whether it’s through the Sanford Pentagon or through other organizations, as parents you invest money, but the children also have to commit. I know it has helped them and will continue to help them with time management skills and the ability to manage many different things.”
Posted in Community, News, Sioux Falls, Sports Medicine, Women