Cordova Girls Softball
was founded in 1965 at the front end of what became the modern Women's Rights movement. Cordova Girls Softball was the first girls sport league in Rancho Cordova and took hold here well before the adoption of Title 9, the sweeping education reforms that made equal access to sports for girls the law of the land in 1972.
Fifty years later, starting in the early spring, and continuing through the long hot days of a Rancho Cordova summer, girls ages 4-18 are improving their health, their self-esteem, athletic skills and learning the value of teamwork on the fields adjacent to Mills Middle School.
Girls learn to throw, play the field, run and swing a bat. They are challenged by caring parents and coaches to think strategically, to lose gracefully and win with humility.
It is a sight that warms the hearts of all who see it on opening day at Cordova Girls Softball: It's a parade where these young athletes sport ballerina tutus and butterfly wings, because, as the song says, girls just want to have fun.
Funded completely by player fees, local businesses and the countless hours of volunteer labor by dedicated adults, Cordova Girls Softball has also given exemplary teams and players opportunities to travel and measure themselves against the world.
They have brought pride to the community when they return in triumph from far away where they put their skills on the line to represent their hometown of Rancho Cordova. They are a talent pipeline and training ground for Cordova High School athletics.
In a culture saturated with digitally altered images of impossibly thin women, raising girls with high self-esteem who are comfortable in their own bodies can be daunting. But research shows girls who play on sports teams have higher self-esteem as they look to other girls for their value -- not mass media or boys -- for validation.
Each year, as many as 300 girls in Rancho Cordova have this opportunity to grow into able, self-confident women by supporting each other on the fields of Cordova Girls Softball. Over a half century, that adds up to 10,000 families who have had this amazing experience.
In other words:
Oh the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
Will make you the winning-est winner of all.
It is appropriate that in their 50th year, this bit of Rancho Cordova history and tradition enjoy the spotlight for helping girls become confident women, improving our community along the way.
Congratulations Distinguished Community Service Organization:Cordova Girls Softball!