08/29/2012 11:34 am ET

Young Latinas Lack Family Encouragement To Participate In Sports

When Dora Herrera, 55, was about 12 or 13 years old, she was no longer allowed to play sports. “My parents told me it was inappropriate for a young lady to be out and about. Once puberty set in, I had to grow up and be a lady.” Though she enjoyed playing roller derby, boxing, and baseball with the neighborhood children, she had to stay inside her home.

That was about 43 years ago, but some of these attitudes still remain. Johanna Rivera, 29, had a similar experience. “My parents never encouraged me to play a sport since I had to be home and clean up the house or take care of my brother and sister.” She says that many of her friends also had to go home and make dinner for the family. “We were women who had responsibilities. Sometimes it also felt like we had no business playing sports and being in the streets.”

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