On the heels of International Women's Day and in the very month that celebrates women's history, there is good news about women's sports in Colorado. Earlier this year I wrote about the disappointing demise of the Women's Professional Soccer League, however; last week the Colorado Rapids, the local major league soccer team, announced some very exciting news. They want to include women in their franchise:
The Colorado Rapids Soccer Club has expanded, with the new Colorado Rapids Women to begin play this spring in the W-League, the top level of women's soccer in North America. The team is a result of a partnership between the Colorado Rapids and Colorado Force FC, a franchise founded in 1996 with operations based in Fort Collins, Colo., which will rebrand to become the Colorado Rapids Women.
In a time when men's and women's sports teams feel like they are competing against each other for a fan base it is refreshing to see the new Rapids coach embracing the game as a whole and encouraging fans of all genders to support the game -- unlike his predecessor who when asked if he would support a women's team coming to Denver once said "If it was something the public wanted, why not? As long as they don't compete with our games."
The director of media for the Rapids, David Lindholm tweeted "Thrilled that @ColoradoRapids now have #RapidsWomen as part of the club. Very important to have teams that all kids can aspire to play on!"
This is such an important message to send to parents of young players. The more young girls see women playing, the more opportunities they believe they have -- because they do!
I hope this is the first of many partnerships between men's and women's sports in Colorado. Wouldn't it be great to see kids of all ages and genders going to games to cheer on athletes of both genders?
Follow Katie Groke Ellis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@grokey