Talented tennis player Hannah Berner, a senior at the Beacon School in New York, did not have the option of joining a girls tennis team when she transferred to the school two years ago. Thanks to Title IX, the school had to let her play on the boys team, and this spring, she went 16 and 2, helping her team win three major tournaments. The New York Times ran a story about the reactions of players and coaches. Many were unhappy that they had lost to a girl, but at least one opposition coach, Chris Locopo of Horace Mann, took a different perspective:
“It’s great for a boy to deal with a really good girl player,” Mr. Lacopo said. “In order to play her you just have to say she’s just a tennis player. She’s not a girl, just an opponent who’s going to be hitting the ball back.”
According to the New York Times the school is hoping to field a girls team soon, spurred on in part by the publicity Hannah has generated. Meanwhile, however, Title IX has allowed another girl to reach her athletic potential – that she happened to be one of the rare cases of a female athlete physically capable of defeating her male opponents has hopefully served to broaden those opponents’ perspectives on female athletes.