Whitmer signs women in sports executive order

    sports soccer
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    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Monday creating a task force aimed at promoting women in sports.

    Jocelyn Benson at the SiriusXM Business Radio Broadcasts “Beyond The Game: Tackling Race” From Wharton San Francisco on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco | Kimberly White, Getty Images

    The Task Force on Women in Sports will be the first in the nation, according to Whitmer’s office. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the former CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), will lead it with the goal of creating strategies that support more girls and women in sports.

    Benson called the order “a chance for Michigan to become a national model for advancing opportunities for all women to lead in every arena.”

    Although it’s prohibited by federal law to exclude women from sporting activities, there are still fewer chances for girls to take part, Whitmer’s office said.

    “Young girls and women who are participating in sports in Michigan deserve the same opportunities as their male counterparts. These possibilities extend well beyond time on the playing field,” Whitmer said in a statement.

    Gretchen Whitmer at the Paczki Run | Ken Coleman

    “Playing basketball in high school allowed me to develop leadership skills while learning about the importance of teamwork,” she continued. “When women participate in a variety of sports, it allows them to explore these meaningful opportunities.”

    The task force will make recommendations to the governor and lawmakers on state policies, investments and other programs supporting its mission.

    Michael Gerstein
    Michael Gerstein covers the governor’s office, criminal justice and the environment. Before that, he wrote about state government and politics for the Detroit News, the Associated Press and MIRS News and won a Society of Professional Journalism award for open government reporting. He studied philosophy at Michigan State University, where he wrote for both The State News and Capital News Service. He began his journalism career freelancing for The Sturgis Journal, his hometown paper.

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