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Title IX winners: Women discuss how law impacted their lives

Published: Sunday, June 24 2012 12:47 a.m. MDT

She remembers just one other, Springville's Kathy Jarvis, when she started at Grand High School. Tomsic has earned state and national recognition for her efforts as an athletic director, and she said it only makes sense that society offers the same opportunities to learn and grow through athletics to women as it does to men.

"It's been well documented that participation in sports brings all kinds of benefits, and Title IX gave women and girls the green light to have all of those experiences, without them being second-rate," she said. "Why wouldn't you want women to experience all of those benefits?"

Lori Salvo

Lori Salvo knows she's blessed.

While her older sister never got to play basketball or volleyball, she did. Not only that, she earned a college education thanks to her athletic skill.

The mother of two graduated from Davis High in 1976 and earned one of the first full-ride athletic scholarships for women at the University of Utah. The basketball and volleyball player credits her high school coach, Norma Carr, and former Davis Principal Dick Stevenson with fighting for the opportunities she enjoyed.

"I went through the years where we had to fight really hard for what we had," she said. "My older sister had to play halfcourt basketball and my other sister was a cheerleader. They didn't have sports. I think we had to fight for everything, but every year it got better. I was so grateful for each year because we had so much more."

Salvo said she isn't sure what would have happened to her had she not been offered a life in athletics.

"I think it was my God-given talent to play sports," she said. "My future rested on it. I would never have been able to go to college. My parents were divorced and they didn't have the money. I wouldn't have gone to college. I am the only one in my family who graduated from college. It gave me the opportunity to do what I love to do."

She said watching Carr and Stevenson and others fight for her and her classmates instilled a sense of responsibility in her.

"To see coaches who fought so hard for us girls, I'm going to go do the same," she said. "I'm going to give back."

She doesn't understand why anyone would want to deprive women of the opportunity to have sports in their lives.

"It was amazing," she said of her youth. "I was able to play and have a ball with everything. I just went from one sport to the next because I just loved playing so much."

She said there are still issues women have to battle and Title IX ensures they have equal footing.

"Why do the boys get prime time?" said the Davis head volleyball coach and assistant basketball coach. "I still feel that today things aren't equal."

Title IX also helped her be a part of creating a professional women's volleyball league that her daughter, Airial Salvo, played in this spring. She hopes the message girls get today is that they deserve everything their male counterparts have.

"The girls are oblivious to it," she said. "They don't realize it was an issue. I really don't think they know the half of it, and who and how the road was paved for us. They still need to be aware. They still need to be grateful, and I don't always feel like they appreciate it."

Norma Carr

The slip of paper shocked and infuriated the young teacher and coach.

Norma Carr, who graduated from BYU in 1969 in physical education, took the paper, which told teachers that girls could participate in pep club, cheerleading and dance, but were not allowed to play interscholastic sports, to her principal at Davis High, Richard "Dick" Stevenson.

He suggested holding onto the paper until the girls were able to have their "play day," which was a one-day gymnastics tournament for which they'd been practicing for months.

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