Women In Sports! An Interview With FDR’s Student/Athletes


Women have been a large part of sports history and entertainment for years. Serena Williams, Sue Bird, and Alex Morgan are likely names you’ve heard of, but what about the female student/athletes at FDR? In order to honor the end of Women’s History Month, The New Dealer sat down with some of FDR’s student/athletes to have a discussion about being a female athlete and women’s participation in sports. Phoebe Wu is a sophomore and libero on the Volleyball team. Brianna Morales, a sophomore, is a member of the Flag Football team. Jezz Perez is a junior and captain of the Softball team. She is also a member of the girls Tennis team.  Finally, Emily Juarez Sanchez is a junior and a member of the Badminton team.

The New Dealer: Do you think that FDR takes women’s sports seriously?

Phoebe Wu: Yes, they give us loads of options in sports and opportunities to play different sports.
Brianna Morales: Yes, they have a lot of sports for both genders, and have options so that everyone can feel involved.
Jezz Perez: Yes, I do. They treat the women’s teams just as seriously as the men’s teams. They give us the equipment we need, the space we need, and the respect that we deserve just as much as anyone else.
Emily Juarez Sanchez: As a member of a sports team that is barely recognized, I feel that all sports in general are not taken seriously by FDR. There isn’t much spirit in it, our wins/games in general aren’t announced, and I barely see anything about our teams around the school. Again this might be due to the fact that we are coming back from COVID, so hopefully our school spirit grows. FDR students don’t care about sports in general, so they will care LESS about women’s sports. The players are the ones who mainly advertise their games. I don’t hear any announcements from the school about games.

The New Dealer: What does it mean to you to be a woman in sports?

Phoebe Wu: It means that I am able to train and work with wonderful women.
Brianna Morales: To me, it means that I have pride, and am willing to try something new that could keep me occupied.
Jezz Perez: To me, being a woman in sports means believing in yourself no matter what, doing what some might call the impossible, staying strong, and fighting against double standards and stereotypes. You fight for you and the people who don’t have a voice, no matter what.
Emily Juarez Sanchez: It means a lot being in a sport, there are a lot of obstacles that an individual has to face, especially women. Although we have progressed into a more diverse, gender equal society, with opportunities for all, we can’t deny we women of color still struggle with a lot of disadvantages. Seeing women being part of any sport is really inspiring, and motivates me to continue playing a sport I enjoy for myself and not for others.

The New Dealer: What distinctions do you see between the treatment of male and female athletes at FDR?

Phoebe Wu: So for me, one of the distinctions I see between boys and girls volleyball is the boys get more drills to do and are shown more technique. The girls just get into practice games, and do conditioning.
Brianna Morales: I see no distinction and believe everyone is treated equally.
Jezz Perez: They get certain equipment that we don’t and access to certain sports, like wrestling, track or regular football. They get equipment that we don’t, because those sports aren’t offered to us.
Emily Juarez Sanchez: There really isn’t a big difference between female and male athletes by the SCHOOL, but by our community and our peers, male players are taken more seriously than female players. One example that I’ve seen in the FDR community is that many people think that softball is an easy sport and that girls have it easier than the guys playing baseball- which is supposedly a harder game.

The New Dealer: Who are some female athletes you look up to?

Phoebe Wu: I honestly don’t look up to many professional athletes, I mainly look up to my captain, Lindsay Bueno.
Brianna Morales: I don’t look up to any athletes. I believe that I can be the best version of myself on my own, and I feel like looking up to someone could lead me down the wrong path.
Jezz Perez: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, she’s an Olympic world champion and the record holder for the quickest time by a female sprinter. I also look up to Tiare Jennings from the Oklahoma Sooners, she hit many home runs along with her teammate Jocelyn Alo.
Emily Juarez Sanchez: A female athlete I really look up to is Coco Gauff. When I was getting into tennis I remember watching a game between Coco Gauff and Naomi Osaka, another tennis player I look up to. Seeing Coco Gauff play was a moment that really inspired me to play. At that time Coco Gauff was around 16 playing at the US open against Osaka. Although Gauff lost, I saw the potential she had. I came to a  realization that from a young age, she came so far and continues to thrive to this day.

Women’s sports have long been underrepresented and under appreciated. Support the female athletes in your life, and at your school! Go to their games, and show support whenever you can. “You should be proud to play like a girl.” -Alex Morgan