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TIX club rises for women’s equality in sports

In the fall of 2017, seniors Ella Ong Bamola and Molly Kehoe decided to form a new club, TIX, which stands for the amendment of Title IX. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the Title Nine or IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Ong Bamola and Kehoe are co-captains of the varsity tennis team and co-presidents of the TIX club this year. According to Kehoe, the purpose for creating the club TIX, is to support Title IX and raise money to donate to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF). Kehoe contacted the WSF in April of 2017 explaining what TIX’s purpose is and asking how they could help the organization.The foundation was founded by Billie Jean King, who is known for winning six Wimbledon singles championships and four U.S. Open titles. She was also an advocate of equal pay for women in sports.

Ong Bamola and Kehoe decided to support the Women’s Sports Foundation and have them be their charitable body because they knew that the money being raised would be given to a well-known organization.  

“I do realize that professional women’s sports are not as popular as professional men’s sports, except for in tennis, which is why I think the tennis team is so dedicated to the club because we know professional men’s tennis and women’s tennis are pretty equal,” said Kehoe. “But in general women’s sports doesn’t get as much support from everyday people.”

The reaction from the WSF was very positive. They sent Kehoe and Ong Bamola care packages in May with t-shirts, phone back credit card holders and a signed tennis ball from Billie Jean King to encourage their efforts. They wanted to make sure that TIX was being represented and guided in the right direction.

Club member of TIX gathered to discuss their first fundraiser.
Club member of TIX gathered to discuss their first fundraiser.

According to Kehoe, the club is planning fundraisers across Marin with bake sales and working towards reaching a fundraising goal, which will be set after their first fundraiser. They are also having group discussions on Title IX and the current events that revolve around it.

“I think that Title IX is extremely important and I think that it’s important to treat women’s sports in the same way you would treat men’s sports,” Kehoe said. “The reason why Ella and I felt it was so necessary to do this right now is because if we can do anything, even if it’s a small contribution, it feels more important than ever to show support for things that really matter.”

According to Ong Bamola, in the first meeting they discussed what they wanted from the club and organized their first fundraiser, a bake sale, which took place on Saturday, Oct. 14.

“The ultimate goal of the club is to raise money for the Women’s Sports Foundation and to bring awarness. We talk a lot about what Title IX is and its importance as well as how it is affecting others,” Ong Bamola said.

Ella Ong Bamola, Molly Kehoe, and Erin Roddy at their second Club meeting on October 10.
Ella Ong Bamola, Molly Kehoe, and Erin Roddy at their second Club meeting on October 10.

Freshman Erin Roddy was introduced to the club this year because she plays on the girls’ tennis team with Kehoe and Ong Bamola. Roddy has been playing tennis for five years and wants to bring awareness towards inequality in women’s sports. Her passion has lead her to join the new club, as well as be their secretary.

“I thought that the first meeting for TIX went smoothly. I believes that it’s going to a significant club to join because it fights for a cause that is important for athletes,” Roddy said.

Next year, she expects to keep promoting the club and become co-presidents with Kehoe’s younger brother junior Freddy.

The club will be meeting every other Monday in the multi-purpose room.

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Sylvana Perczek, Author