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Game changers

How female athletes attempt to make a difference

Female equality in sports has been argued since before Title IX was amended in 1972. For some girls at South, this has been a setback during their athletic careers. But for others, it has been a driving factor, causing them to keep pushing through the hardships.

Varsity Girls Hockey player Tinley Gram ’27 is one of the highest scoring freshmen in the state, ranking in the top 50 of all Division One Girls. She said she believes that it takes hard work on and off the ice to actually succeed in games.

Tinley Gram ’27 gets past the Ann Arbor Pioneer defense, scoring a goal seconds later.












“I’ve been playing hockey for about seven years,” Gram said. “It’s a major part of my life, so I try to get better whether we have practice or not. I know that the team has to get better if we want to win and some of that work is individual.”

Gram said she sees the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) as a chance for women pursuing sports. She said it also serves as an inspiration for young players who, due to the PWHL, don’t have to stop at college. They now have opportunities elsewhere.

“I look around at our games and we never have the amount of fans that the boys do,” Gram said. “I think we lack motivation because we’re not supported. I hope the PWHL gives us a chance to change that.”

Swimmer Naya Azoury ’25 said she notices the lack of female representation in sports, not only in athletes or employees, but also fans.

Kate Dixon, Hannah Didio, Lilly Irby, and Naya Azoury all ’25 embrace each other for a mid practice picture.
(Naya Azoury ’25)














“Take Taylor Swift for example, she shows up to an NFL game and all of a sudden the media starts hating her for it,” said Azoury. “She brought an entirely new fan base to professional football and people still find a way to judge her. Can’t we let women enjoy what they enjoy and stop criticizing them for it?”

Azoury also said she believes the stigma that females “don’t know anything about sports” needs to be abolished.

“People ask us to name five players or tell us that we’re only watching because we find the athletes attractive,” said Azoury. “I’m so sick of it. Maybe a portion of what they say is true, but I should also be able to like sports without having to prove it to someone.”

Softball player Addie Waller ’24 said she has a love for being in the sports environment. She said she aspires to go into sports as a profession, but doesn’t want to just experience it from the sidelines or the stands.

Addie Waller ’24 and her softball coach, Bill Flemming, high-five after a good play made by Waller. (Addie Waller ’24)
















“I don’t want to be a journalist,” Waller said. “I don’t want to be one of the women there just because they’re attractive. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I want to be a coach or someone who can make calls. I want to be valuable to the team.”

Waller said she uses the lack of representation to drive her to be a better athlete, she said it makes her work harder.

“You shouldn’t ruin what makes you happy just because someone tells you to,” Waller said. “Women have every right to be in these athletic spaces.”

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