Luther College Chips

New Series: Women in Motion

Martel DenHartog, Sports Editor

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It’s 2019. Women hold 127 seats in the United States Congress—a record-breaking high. The 2020 Olympic Games will add more female and mixed events, as well as eliminate some male events—for greater gender equality. Women are moving, creating, developing, changing, and leading themselves and their communities in bold ways that have been quieted in the past.

So, readers! Welcome to the first issue of Chips in 2019, where the editing staff is all-female and empowered and excited to cover relevant and thoughtful stories.

This is Martel DenHartog — your Sports Editor. I would like to introduce to you a new series I have created which will be featured primarily in the sports section called “Women in Motion.” It will focus on stories of female sports participation and leadership at Luther and beyond — because the game is changing, and more women’s voices ought to be heard.

My goal with “Women in Motion” is to share stories of female student-athletes, coaches, and sports-minded women outside of teams for a broader understanding of what it means for women to participate and excel in sports at Luther and beyond. We may also cover other local, national, or international stories related to female sports participation and how those events connect to our campus community; look for these stories in the news, features, and opinion sections of Chips.

According to the NCAA, in 1972, women coached more than 90 percent of collegiate women’s teams. Today, less than half of college women are coached by women. In 2018, 30 percent of NCAA DIII Athletic Directors were female, and this number is increasing. Why are these statistics changing and what can be done to address these disparities? Does it even matter? Follow these questions through this series as we highlight figures in female athletics.

We lead off the series with the profile of Renae Hartl: Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Head Softball Coach, and advocate for women in sports leadership. With her focus on fostering positive relationships with athletes and her genuine love for coaching, Hartl is setting an example of what it means to be a role model for women in sports leadership. Hartl’s focus isn’t gender-specific, rather she seeks to develop whole people, and, as her athletes can attest, she cares deeply about coaching and athletes’ lives both on and off the field.

Future stories will highlight student-athletes competing at Luther, events related to female sports leadership, and innovative ways Luther is becoming more gender inclusive in sports.

A vital part of any sports section in a newspaper is reporting of sporting events. My purpose is not to eliminate this. Rather, while Luther sporting events stories will be covered, the section will broaden its approach to sports coverage. I ask that you be patient with the series and interact with it through submitting opinion pieces of your own — what do you think of the new stories covered? What would you like to hear more about? What do you not want to hear about? Is this topic even important?

Note: Here “female” and “woman” appear interchangeably, referring to anyone identifying with this gender.

This piece is supported by Chips’ entire editorial staff.

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