Embracing a windy day in Fargo, many gathered at Osgood Golf Course on June 24 for Concordia College’s all-women golf scramble, “9 for IX,” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Title IX civil rights law being passed.
“I’m just so excited to have this really awesome powerful group of women to celebrate the day with,” said Rachel Bergeson, Concordia’s athletic director. “We know that Title IX is much larger than sport, but I think what it has done for athletics is first and foremost provided opportunities for girls and women.”
Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government. Although the originally suggested Title IX amendment excluded athletics, it was rejected and the final law was passed with sports-based equity included.
“Once we’ve provided those opportunities, we’re trying to figure out how we can make sure those opportunities are alike for men and women,” said Bergeson. “In these first 50 years we have accomplished a lot, but we still have some work to do to continue to provide opportunities for all.”
Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and many other Cobber supporters attended the Golf Crawl, which was organized by Bergeson; Emily Lunak, assistant women’s hockey coach; Mo Greiner, women’s hockey and golf coach; and Kim Wagers, women’s basketball coach.
Rebecca Quimby has been Concordia’s head women’s soccer coach since 2018 and was the first woman to ever hold that position. At the event, she praised Bergeson’s commitment to increasing female representation in coaching positions.
“Rachel, our athletic director, has gone above and beyond for women’s athletics here at Concordia,” said Quimby. “When I was first hired, I was one of two female head coaches coaching women, and we had an F on the EADA. Rachel has since gotten our Equity standing to an A.”
The EADA, or Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, requires postsecondary institutions that participate in a Title IV (federal student financial assistance program) and have an intercollegiate athletic program to prepare an annual report on athletic participation and other statistics to the Department of Education.
“We have more women [in athletics] than ever [who are] coaching women and even a woman coaching men,” Quimby said. "I think when our athletes have concerns about equity, Rachel listens and tries her hardest to make sure that we are always working towards equity, and that matters.”
For student-athletes at Concordia, Title IX means that regardless of sex, students are eligible for sports opportunities and scholarships. Title IX, however, does not impact sports alone.
Kay Pederson was one of the 72 golfers in attendance. She is also a member of the Concordia women’s golf team.
“I think [women’s athletics is] such a great experience no matter what,” said Pederson. “Being involved in sports, you’re able to meet so many people and just be able to create those bonds and open up more opportunities, and especially as a woman it can create lots of opportunities.”
For Coach Quimby, she says sports help women embrace their strengths.
“Sports teach you it’s OK to be fierce and powerful,” Quimby said. “I think if you play any sport long enough you will find values such as teamwork and communication, but you will realize that you can accomplish things and persevere in times you never thought that you could.”
Read more on Concordia’s Title IX policy and resources.
Written by Mya Lysne '23