The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

Spotlight on Girls4Sports: Advocating for gender equality and support for female athletes

Girls4Sports+officers+and+conference+panelists+pose+together+for+a+photo+in+the+Performing+Arts+Center+after+webinar+with+former+olympic+athlete+Chris+Evert.+
Jarah Diop
Girls4Sports officers and conference panelists pose together for a photo in the Performing Arts Center after webinar with former olympic athlete Chris Evert.

It’s not every day an Olympic athlete holds a conference at a high school. But on November 15 in the DHS Performing Arts theater, former world no. 1 tennis player Chris Evert came to Dublin High to answer students’ questions about becoming a female athlete and the importance of youth advocacy.

 

The event was coordinated by Girls4Sports, a student-led nonprofit organization that started as a club at DHS before branching out to create chapters all over the Bay Area. Founded by Dublin High junior Maegha Ramanathan, the organization is dedicated to not only providing opportunities for girls to learn about athletics but also supporting them on their athletic journey and pushing for youth advocacy. To that end, the organization holds many different types of events, including sports equipment donation drives, youth-led sports summer camps, and fundraising events.

 

“Girls4Sports opens opportunities for underprivileged girls to play sports while raising awareness about gender inequality seen in female sports. We aim to do this by initiating free, accessible events such as summer sports camps, webinars with professional athletes, sports equipment drives, and advocacy workshops,” Maegha Ramanathan told The Dublin Shield. 

 

Maegha was motivated to create Girls4Sports by previous negative experiences in athletics, where degrading comments left her with the realization that gender inequality was deeply rooted in sports. From then on, she became dedicated to the cause. “I studied the work of Kamala Harris, Sonia Sotomayer, Malala Yousafzai. These women inspired me to take action and stand up for the causes I believe in,” Maegha explained.

 

Once Dublin High’s Girls4Sports was founded, the club immediately garnered much attention. Many girls, it turns out, related to Maegha’s experiences and were excited to join the club. As Maegha tells the Shield: “Even though our events are free, upon launching, people immediately wanted to support the cause. We received $200 in donations within our first event. This clear support helped me realize how important Girls4Sports was for society, cementing my belief in this cause.”

 

With its most recent event involving Evert, who held a web conference before a panel of Dublin High students, Girls4Sports was able to further fulfill its mission to support girls’ athletics in its presentation of an inspiring woman athlete empowering Dublin High to effect change. Indeed, Evert spent over 30 minutes answering the students’ questions before emphasizing the importance of youth advocacy and gender equity before the audience of students, making the conference a resounding success. 

 

One DHS student, Vaidehi Akbari, thoroughly enjoyed the event. “I would definitely attend a similar conference again since it was a lot of fun for the members of the club as well as the audience . . . [this club] brings me many opportunities to speak about things I am passionate about and share it with people everywhere. This is my first year in the club and I know that I will be sticking with it throughout high school.”

 

Besides this event, the organization plans to hold more speaker showcases in the future. But their main focus continues to be on donation drives that help gather equipment for girls in marginalized communities across the world as well as locally. As Girls4Sports told the Shield, “Every month we host sports equipment drives for children’s homes, children’s hospitals, and local sports teams. We have collected and donated 300+ sports equipment—including 200 for Sacramento Children’s Home, Oakland Children’s hospital and many local sports teams.”

 

Overall, this DHS-borne organization aims to do much more over the next few years as they expand their events, showcases, drives, and fundraisers to help more and more people. But for the founder, it has always been more personal. “My favorite part is definitely the drastic impact we are able to make. Anyone who wants to get an opportunity will receive it,” Maegha states. 

 

Girls4Sports is one of many examples of Dublin High students going out of their way to help the community and advocate for their peers. If you’re interested in joining Girls4Sports, you can find them on Instagram at @girls_4_sports, where they announce most of their events and have links to their website, membership form, and various other resources.

About the Contributor
Greeshma Adiga, Social Media Manager
Greeshma is the sophomore Photography Editor at the Dublin Shield. She aspires to be an artist, author, photographer, and biomedical engineer. In her free time, she likes to paint with acrylics and read good books on current topics. You can always find her curled up in her room under a big comfy blanket with a book!