Black Women In Sport Foundation Is Guiding Light For Others
Tina Sloan Green created her own path in sports and society. She crushed obstacles and stereotypes on her way to becoming the first African-American player on the U.S. Women’s national field hockey team in the late 1960s. She went on to become the first African-American women’s lacrosse coach at Temple University where she guided the team for 32 years, winning three national championships in the process.
Still yearning to do more for others, Sloan Green, along with three other women she met while at Temple University, Alpha Alexander, Nikki Franke, and Linda Greene decided to form the Black Women in Sport Foundation in 1992. In an interview with GoodSport, she shared her reason for starting the organization.
“I was told that I would never be an executive director because I didn’t fit the mold because I was the wrong color. I didn’t come from an elite environment so I knew if I wanted to be in charge of something, I would have to create an opportunity because nobody was going to give it to me. The foundation was my way of doing that.”
For co-founder Dr. Alpha Alexander, it was about giving back and she referenced a quote from the great Arthur Ashe, who was both a legendary athlete and social activist.
“He said, ‘Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.’ It was all about giving back to the community for him. I model my life after him. He was smart and really gave back to the community.”
The foundation tries to foster the dreams of girls and young women, hoping to support them on their paths to life-long success. Sloan Green, whose daughter Traci is Harvard’s tennis coach and on the board of the foundation, reflected on the limitations of her athletic childhood.
“When I was growing up, I knew there were girls who were just as fast, if not faster than me. Some of them were even better athletes than me, but they never got the same opportunities as I did.”
GoodSport commends the Black Women in Sport Foundation in their efforts to ensure that athletes with that kind of potential find a place in sports and society.