Amazing Kids! Magazine

Girl Athletes: A Look at Sexism in America

By Stella Prince, Nonfiction, AK Adventures, and Global Village Editor


For years, women have obviously been treated differently than most men. In the past, it was something most girls learned to accept, that life won’t always treat you fairly—but now many are fighting for gender equality, and it is taking much longer than expected. This fight has been going on for hundreds of years. Just a few months ago, I spent the afternoon chatting with a 12-year-old athlete, Lily Sycoff, who has been playing sports for years. She is aware that boys are often thought of as better players, and she was nice enough to take some time and talk to me about the issue.

“Girl athletes are constantly treated different—most coaches favor the boys if you’re on a co-ed league,” Sycoff mentioned. Lily is a devoted soccer player who also plays golf, tennis, and karate and skis. “I’ve noticed that most girls on my team wear makeup and are very fashionable. That’s just not my thing at all—taking up a sport isn’t about looking great, it’s mainly about feeling strong and doing what you love. It’s cool to see the boys’ faces after we beat them,” Sycoff explained, smiling. “Some players do criticize us for being girls, but it’s just part of the game.”

Lily first started soccer when she began playing for a community team, and once she got older, it became serious. “Soccer is an amazing experience for me. I would love to be a successful athlete someday, but it’s not about the fame. Really just doing what I love is enough for me.” Sycoff has grown up in a sports-playing house, with her father being a coach and her mother a softball and basketball player. Even Lily’s two younger brothers have been doing soccer for years, too. “My family likes the idea of me sticking to athletics. It’s important to them and to me, and I think they’re proud. They’re happy I found my passion,” commented Sycoff, seriously.

Aside from sports, Lily is also a farmer and helps out regularly on her family’s land. “I work on the farm for hours every day. I give the chickens water, feed them, and wash them; collect eggs; feed the cats, cows, pigs, and dogs; and much more. Farming is another passion of mine, and I do love working with animals.”

Lily Sycoff—committed athlete and farmer—works really hard at what she does. Go girls!