On May 17th, the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), in collaboration with espnW and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), released its 40 FOR 40 list of forty women who made a significant impact on society after playing sports in high school or college during the forty years of the Title IX era. BlazeSports’ Director of Policy and Global Outreach, Ann Cody, was honored as one of the forty women chosen for her contributions.
Ann has been a Washington veteran and Paralympic sport expert for more than two decades serving in various capacities including federal affairs, Paralympic Games management, and as an athlete. Her work on behalf of BlazeSports America and the disability sport movement has significantly increased awareness in Congress and the Executive Branch of the benefits of sports and physical activity for people with disabilities and led to an increased federal commitment to these programs. Ann serves on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board and is the highest ranking American and highest ranking woman in the IPC worldwide. She is also a Paralympic Gold Medalist in Athletics and competed on three U.S. Paralympic Teams (Basketball ’84, Athletics ’88, ’92).
Ann is widely known and respected throughout the world as a leader in sport and human rights. She has led a number of national and international advocacy initiatives on sport with a focus on girls and women with disabilities. Through her leadership, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) established a policy on gender equity and several initiatives aimed at increasing participation by women in Paralympic sport and the movement. Within the United States, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was landmark legislation requiring schools and colleges receiving federal money in any education program or activity to provide the same opportunities for girls as they provide for boys. According to WSF, Title IX has resulted in growth of girls participating in high school sports from 1 in 27 in 1972 to about 2 in 5 today. Title IX has not only made its impact felt in terms of athletic participation, but in educational opportunities for girls and women. According to several studies, the combination of the two has produced significant long-term educational, health and economic benefits for women.
BlazeSports America is proud to be a part of the advancements that have been made over the last forty years in creating new opportunities for women and girls to participate in sport in physical activity. We invite you to join us on the BlazeSports America Facebook page in thanking Ann for all her hard work to increase sport and physical activity opportunities for all individuals! Congratulations to all the honorees!