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February 01 2024
HUNDREDS OF ATHLETES CONVENE ON CAPITOL HILL TO USE THEIR VOICE FOR EQUITY AHEAD OF NATIONAL GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY.

Today, the VOICEINSPORT Foundation is returning to Washington D.C. for the 2024 Capitol Hill Day Briefing from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Room of the Russell Senate Building in Washington D.C. to discuss Title IX, the future of gender equity in sports, and the work led by VIS Advocates to reintroduce the Fair Play for Women Act on National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb 7th, 2024).

(NEW YORK CITY) February 1st, 2024- Today, the VOICEINSPORT Foundation will return to Washington D.C. to host a Capitol Hill Day Briefing. The briefing will highlight the stories of women athletes from around the country and inform Capitol Hill about Title IX, the future of gender equity in sports, and the work led by VIS Advocates to reintroduce the Fair Play for Women Act on National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb 7th, 2024).

Over the past 3 years, the VIS Advocates have been hard at work using their VOICES to advocate for change and equity. Today, their mission continues as they aim to host the largest gathering of women athletes ever to conduct a briefing on the Hill in front of House & Senate Members. The VIS Advocates will share their Title IX stories and talk about the inequities they have experienced throughout their lives as women in sports. At the briefing, they will use their VOICES to shed light on the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equity in sports. Attendees of the briefing will learn about Title IX, the impact of Name Image & Likeness (NIL) on women college athletes, and the re-introduction of the Fair Play for Women Act.

“The major gap in resources and opportunities between women’s and men’s sports is a blatant Title IX violation. The Fair Play for Women Act would increase transparency and accountability of schools and athletic associations, make sure athletes know how to exercise their Title IX rights, and most importantly, ensure that sports programs for women and girls finally get the equal support they’re entitled to and have long deserved. I’m grateful to VOICEINSPORT for their advocacy, partnership, and support for this bill.” - Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

“Advocacy and power start with education and understanding your rights. Over the 3 years through the VIS Advocate Program we have helped hundreds of young women develop leadership skills and inspired them to use their voice to drive change. The work is not done but I am so incredibly proud of the women in this program that have never wavered on the belief that one voice matters and collectively our voice is a force!”  - Founder & CEO VOICEINSPORT & VOICEINSPORT Foundation Stef Strack

Though tremendous progress has been made in women’s sports in the past half-decade thanks to Title IX, many girls and women across the country still face significant barriers to participating in sports. 87% of NCAA schools offer disproportionately higher rates of athletic opportunities to men than women (U.S. Department of Education, 2019). At the high school level, boys get 1.13 million more sports opportunities than girls (National Federation of State High School Associations, 2019). This past year several Title IX cases have made the news, including the recent suit filed against the University of Oregon and an ongoing investigation at the University of Idaho. NIL has also contributed to the gender gap in sports, as 95% of NIL Collective money is distributed to men athletes. True gender equity in sports has yet to be achieved, which is why the VOICEINSPORT Foundation established the VIS Advocate Program in 2021. 

The VIS Advocate Program has built a community of over 200 women student-athletes passionate about making change. Created in 2021 by VOICEINSPORT Foundation Founder and CEO Stef Strack, the VIS Advocate Program aims to give young women athletes a platform to speak out about the gender inequities girls and women continue to face in sports. Through the program, VIS Advocates are formally trained on Title IX and learn how to evaluate their schools and athletic programs for compliance. To date, VIS Advocates have set up VIS Chapters at schools across the country and have conducted over 150 Title IX evaluations. Through their hard work and advocacy, VIS Advocates and the VOICEINSPORT Foundation have brought attention to an unfortunate reality – American schools are overwhelmingly not in compliance with Title IX. Using the Office of Civil Rights’ Three-Part Test for Title IX compliance, over 90% of evaluations conducted by VIS Advocates and the VOICEINSPORT Foundation have found the evaluated school to be out of compliance.

“I am returning to Capitol Hill to continue to raise awareness about the importance of the Fair Play for Women Act. As a high school student attempting to complete a Title IX evaluation of my school, I was frustrated with how difficult it was to obtain the information necessary to assess my school's compliance. I am passionate about ensuring that there is transparency in the data needed to conduct Title IX evaluations at the K-12 grades, and that these schools are held to the same standard as colleges and universities. The Fair Play for Women Act is critical to support Title IX and gender equity in sports.” - VIS Advocate Mia Philippi, Sunset High School Basketball

Despite this, the drive and passion of the VIS Advocates have remained strong. On June 23, 2022, in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, CEO Stef Strack and VIS Advocates united on Capitol Hill and announced their support for the reintroduction of the Fair Play for Women Act – which the Advocates themselves helped to write as a bill proposal. The legislation – which is the culmination of the VIS Advocates’ work and perseverance – will strengthen Title IX by expanding reporting requirements, increasing accountability, and educating more students, coaches, and administrators about Title IX compliance.

Since the bill's introduction, the VOICEINSPORT Foundation and the VIS Advocates have met with over 40 congressional offices, hosted 4 Capitol Hill Day briefings, and gained the support of several organizations, non-profits, and professional athletes. This year, the VIS Advocates return to Washington ahead of National Girls and Women in Sports Day to share their personal stories of gender inequity in sports and support the reintroduction of the FPFW Act. The VIS Advocates take the floor to discuss the issues most important to them at a time when Congressional discussions about athletics tend to ignore the perspectives of actual athletes.

“As a nationally ranked track and field athlete at Harvard University, I intend to shed light on the concerning gender disparities within the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) policy in college sports. It is crucial to address the troubling emphasis on physical appearance in NIL deals for female athletes, alongside the significant pay discrepancies between women and men. We must advocate for a more equitable and inclusive approach in college sports marketing, ensuring that female athletes are recognized and compensated based on their talents, not just their physical appearance.” - VIS Advocate Victoria Bossong, Harvard Track and Field

The 2024 Capitol Hill Day Briefing will be held on February 1st from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Room of the Russell Senate Building in Washington D.C. The briefing, organized thanks to the support and sponsorship of CLIF BAR, will be an opportunity to hear from Senator Murphy, Stef Strack, Title IX experts, and the student-athletes of the VIS Advocate Program about gender inequity in sports and the path forward to equal opportunity and access in American athletics. 

Clif Bar is proud to support the VOICEINSPORT Foundation and its mission to help close the opportunity gap for girls and women in sport, including its important work to champion the Fair Play for Women Act. From our longstanding partnerships with inspiring women athletes, to our work with VOICEINSPORT to provide Title IX trainings across the country, we believe in driving positive change in sports equality on a global scale,” -  Sarah Beaubien, Senior Director, Impact & Sustainability, Clif Bar

[Bill Fact Sheet]

About VOICEINSPORT Foundation

VOICEINSPORT Foundation is a global 501c3 Non-Profit Organization on a mission to close the gap for girls and women in sports through innovative sports science research, educational content and an advocacy program for high school and college women athletes called the VIS Advocate Program. Founded in 2020 by Executive and Advocate Stef Strack. For more information please visit www.voiceinsportfoundation.org and check them out on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.  

About VOICEINSPORT

VOICEINSPORT, the global sports company, provides a community-based platform for digital services in mental health, nutrition, sports science, and mentoring from pro athletes to keep girls and women in sports. The VOICEINSPORT membership comes with free access to original articles written by women athletes, weekly podcasts, advocacy tools to drive change, and a community forum. Paid services include a mentoring platform designed to increase the visibility of pro & collegiate athlete role models and access to both clinical & non-clinical sessions with the top 80 experts in sports psychology, sports nutrition, and women’s health. Founded in 2019, VOICEINSPORT is based in NYC and is self-funded by sports industry Executive and Advocate Stef Strack. Visit voiceinsport.com for the latest company news and follow @voiceinsport on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

About CLIF

For more than 30 years, CLIF has crafted delicious and organic food for CLIF BAR, CLIF KID, and LUNA and is committed to helping sustain its people, community, planet, brands, and business. CLIF is part of the Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) portfolio of brands empowering people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world. With 2022 net revenues of approximately $31 billion, Mondelēz is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as CLIF, Oreo, Ritz, LU, and Tate's Bake Shop biscuits and baked snacks, as well as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information about CLIF, please visit www.clifbar.com or check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

 Media Contact:

Carly Wetzel 

Carly@voiceinsportfoundation.org

media@voiceinsport.com

info@voiceinsportfoundation.org