50th Anniversary of Title IX Recognized At UMD

DULUTH, Minn. — The UMD Athletic Department took the time on Tuesday to assemble a panel of former and current female athletes to continue the education and push the importance about title ix for its 50th anniversary.

Title IX prevents sexual discrimination in any school or program that receives federal funding. Beginning in 1972, strides have been made towards more equality, but there’s still work to be done.

“Thinking back to 1972 I was in 7th grade and 6 feet tall, and it was the first year that there was ever going to be a basketball team and it changed my life,” Karen Stromme, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Former UMD Women’s Basketball Coach said.

Those who have seen the evolution of women’s sports knows that it is a substantial accomplishment, but current athletes are still dealing with barricades to equality. In 20-17, pro women’s hockey player Maddie Rooney, took a stand to boycott the world championships to push for equal support and pay in women’s hockey. She says she’s been fortunate to have the opportunities to play her whole life, but there are present day issues that still need addressing.

“I’m kind of the present of title ix I didn’t have those challenges that some of the other women talked about growing up, you know I always had the option,” Maddie Rooney, a Professional Women’s Hockey Player said.

As a high school hockey and goalie coach, she finds ways to give back to young athletes who look up to her as well.

“I mean just being able to be looked at as a role model really inspires me to continue to give back in that sense,” Rooney said.

And playing for the UMD Bulldogs from 2015 to 2020, Maddie Rooney looks back on those years as the best in her life due to the success of the program, even after being a 2 time Olympic gold medalist.

“I think that’s where title ix has gotten us to, to have programs that were worthy that young women can look back and say these were the best times of my life,” Stromme said.

To be able to sit on the panel on Tuesday and speak on behalf of the progress, and look to the future, is a position many women are proud to be in, but the work has just begun.

“We can’t forget to keep looking back and remember where we’ve come from because we have to keep the work going so that we keep going forward and keep that equality going,” Stromme added.

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