New task force to support girls, women in sports

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Forest Hills Central versus Midland in a girls soccer regional final on June 6, 2019.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has created a task force to support and promote opportunities for girls and women in sports.

The group formed Monday by an executive order must make initial findings and recommendations before March 2021. The 15-member task force will be chaired by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who formerly led a nonprofit dedicated to advancing equality through sports.

Whitmer says girls and women deserve the same opportunities as male athletes. She says even with the enactment of Title IX nearly 50 years ago, sports opportunities for girls and women remain limited, and more work remains to even the playing field. Whitmer says just one Division 1 collegiate athletic program in Michigan is led by a woman.

Benson says Michigan has a chance to become a “national model.”

Task force members include Western Michigan University Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard and West Michigan Sports Commission President Mike Guswiler.

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