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City Aims to Strengthen Girls’ Sports Programs

The City Council’s Arts, Health and Humanities committee approved a raft of initiatives Wednesday aimed at fortifying girls’ sports programs run by the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

The new initiatives include a sports “czar” to supervise the development of sports programs citywide; more focused marketing to attract girls to sports programs; and benchmarks requiring the recreation department to increase female participation by 10% the first year and 25% the second year.

Such improvements, said an aide to Councilman Mike Feuer, are not directly linked to the lawsuit brought against the city by the West Valley Girls Softball League in April. The suit, however, alleging inequality between playing fields for girls and boys, threw a spotlight on the issue.

Expanded in September to include all girls in the city, the suit has not been settled.

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In May, Feuer, who chairs the arts committee, asked the Department of Recreation and Parks to report on its policies to ensure gender equity in sports programs. Wednesday’s meeting was one of a series of such updates.


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